- Apr 12, 2001
Apple has virtually cut Chinese display manufacturer BOE out of the iPhone 13's supply chain after discovering design changes to its OLED panels, The Elec reports.
BOE has been supplying OLED display panels for 6.1-inch iPhone models since last year, but the company has only manufactured a "meager amount" of OLED panels for the iPhone since February, according to The Elec. Panel production volume is said to have "plummeted over the past four months."
The initial reason for a dip in production output was a shortage of display driver Integrated Circuits (ICs), since IC supplier LX Semicon prioritized LG Display's orders. More significantly, BOE reportedly changed the design of its OLED panels by expanding the circuit width of thin-film transistors. The Elec claims that when Apple discovered the change, it told BOE to halt production.
Nevertheless, BOE is unlikely to be excluded from Apple's OLED panel supply chain going forward because its presence puts pressure on Samsung Display and LG Display to be more competitive and cut prices. BOE's factory in Sichuan is said to still be operational, and it is possible that BOE is currently working on a workaround to meet Apple's requirements.
BOE has manufactured OLED panels for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 at two factories in China, accounting for just 10 percent of all iPhone displays in 2021, but the company has been planning a significant expansion to overtake LG Display as one of Apple's main suppliers of iPhone displays in 2023.
Article Link: Apple Drops BOE iPhone Displays After Discovering Unexpected Design Changes