An escalating trade war between Japan and South Korea could make Chinese manufacturer BOE Technology a "strong contender" for OLED display orders from Apple, according to industry sources who spoke with DigiTimes.

2018 iphone trio
Samsung has been the undisputed leader in OLED display manufacturing, and as a result it has reportedly been the exclusive supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone X, ‌iPhone‌ XS, and ‌iPhone‌ XS Max, but the industry sources cited believe the Japanese-Korean trade row could upend its monopoly position.

Apple aims to diversify its supply chain as much as possible, often securing at least two suppliers for any given component, but Samsung's lead in OLED display manufacturing has left it with few alternatives so far.

LG, for example, reportedly temporarily halted one of its OLED display production lines due to manufacturing challenges earlier this year. LG already supplies OLED displays for the Apple Watch and is widely expected to become a secondary supplier of OLED displays for iPhones when capable to.

With at least one of BOE or LG joining the mix, Apple is poised to reduce its supply chain risk and improve its negotiating position.

Update: In related news, representatives from tech giants including Apple have traveled to South Korea to measure the impact of the trade war between Japan and South Korea, according to The Korea Herald. The tech giants are said to be "especially worried" about the possible impact on Samsung's DRAM production.

Top Rated Comments

Pepe4life Avatar
65 months ago
Yea let’s increase dependence on China, what could go wrong??
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DBZmusicboy01 Avatar
65 months ago
Screengate Chinese companies are very cheap quality.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
65 months ago
microLED please.
Maybe 2025, maybe later. You’ll know it’s coming when it hits the Watch first, it shouldn’t be more than a few years after that for iPhone.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Degerz Avatar
65 months ago
You are so wrong.
Japan has moved on and focused on different aspects of engineering and tech,just like USA and say Germany.

In terms of OLED production,it may not be worth investing into research and production of them anymore.patents are also involved.
that’s why Japan isn’t making OLED panels.
Samsung is heavily invested and master in smaller screen OLED panel technology whereas LG doesn’t specialise in phone OLED panels ,but LG is the only and main manufacturer of large TV OLED panels,something that Samsung doesn’t do.
This doesn’t mean either isn’t competitive in technology anymore,does it?
Japan is declining in terms of technology and they could not be anymore pathetic than they are now. They don't even have an independent industry anymore to be able to do logic/DRAM/NAND fabrication or produce OLED panels yet a single Korean company can do all of that ...

The reason why Japan isn't producing OLED panels is because they truly don't care about having independently developed core technology anymore. Why else is the Softbank Group thinking about relisting ARM Holdings ? ;)

Whether it is LG or Samsung specializing in OLED technology for different markets means nothing since South Korea is the winner regardless while Japan doesn't specialize much at all in high-end technology ...

Japan isn't the industrial manufacturing prowess anymore it once used to be as you think it is and they're becoming a more service oriented economy so they've acknowledged this to combat their decline and foreign competition from China or Korea ...

Apple may as well tap into BOE Technology since its upper management cares about having competency in key core technology plus it's executives must have access to vast funds of state-subsidies to be competitive in R&D as well so they'd be a perfect supplier for Apple supposing they don't have any political qualms ...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Degerz Avatar
65 months ago
That’s terrible news if Apple uses Chinese BOE..
so what happened to Apple’s investment in Japan Display for OLED panel production?
Samsung is fantastic but I really don’t like the idea of Chinese panels.
It's because Japan isn't all that competitive in high-end technology anymore. Do they even have the know how to be able to mass produce OLED panel displays ?

China offers low prices and South Korea probably has a more efficient method for mass producing OLED panel displays ...

Also, if Apple has to intervene so that Japan Display Inc opens their OLED panel production plant in China then why even bother at that point since JDI is relying on Chinese labour regardless when the state-subsidized BOE Technology is better ?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
65 months ago
Yea let’s increase dependence on China, what could go wrong??
100% dependence on Samsung/South Korea is not ideal; having multiple suppliers makes sense. No need to be frightened of China.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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