Apple 'Aggressively Testing' OLED Displays From China's BOE for 2020 iPhone Lineup

Apple is in the final stages of certifying flexible OLED panels produced by BOE Display for use in future iPhones, according to a new report out today.

BOE China
The Nikkei Asian Review says Apple is "aggressively testing" screens made by the Chinese company, as it considers taking on BOE as an OLED supplier to cut costs and reduce its reliance on Samsung, which is believed to be Apple's primary supplier of OLED displays.

BOE is the world's top producer of large liquid crystal screens and already makes liquid crystal displays for Apple's iPads and MacBooks, but the firm has its sights set firmly on the expanding OLED panel market, which is expected to be worth more than $30 billion this year, up from $25.5 billion in 2018.

At the same time, Apple is seeking to diversify its supply chain as much as possible. The company often tries to secure at least two suppliers for any given component in order to reduce its supply chain risk and improve its bargaining position. Given that Samsung's OLED panel is the most expensive component in the iPhone XS and XS Max, bringing on board another supplier would be a significant coup for Apple.

According to today's report, Apple is currently testing flexible OLED displays from BOE's facility in Chengdu, Sichuan province, which is China's first site to produce the advanced displays. BOE is also building another facility in Sichuan province, which would be allocated to Apple if it places orders, Nikkei's sources said.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation said BOE was likely to supply the new iPhones next year if it wins certification. But it might first be asked to offer displays for repair purposes, as well as panels for older models of iPhones, one source suggested. That would still mark a significant milestone for BOE, the source said, as it would be Apple's first-ever purchase of Chinese-made OLED displays.

LG is believed to be the only other OLED supplier Apple is considering for future iPhones. LG already supplies OLED displays for the Apple Watch, but Apple will only order them for iPhones if the South Korean firm can meet the component's high quality control standards – LG reportedly temporarily halted one of its OLED display production lines due to manufacturing challenges earlier this year.

Rumors suggest Apple will complete its transition to an all-OLED lineup in 2020, releasing high-end 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models with OLED displays and a lower-end 6.1-inch model with an OLED display, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Tags: Samsung, OLED, BOE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

ColdShadow Avatar
19 months ago
Cutting costs again,and switching from high quality OLED panels made by Samsung to China brand..it’s sad.
and what happened to Apple’s investment in Japan Display company?? why change to Chinese brand??
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Adam Warlock Avatar
19 months ago

Cutting costs again,and switching from high quality OLED panels made by Samsung to China brand..it’s sad.
and what happened to Apple’s investment in Japan Display company?? why change to Chinese brand??

Fewer and fewer people are willing to shell out $1000-$1500 for a new phone every year so Tim Apple has to find more and more ways to squeeze every last penny he can to maintain those obscene profit margins. Sure, it's what businesses are supposed to do, but there's a limit to everything. Luxury cars buyers will stop buying your $90,000 if you replace the wood trim with plastic versions. Same thing will end up happening to Apple if they start cheapening out here and there.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
19 months ago

LG already supplies OLED displays for the Apple Watch, but Apple will only order them for iPhones if the Japanese firm can meet the component's high quality control standards

Small correction: LG is South Korean. Japan Display is the only company with Japanese ties and it's essentially owned by Apple and Chinese investors.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bobob Avatar
19 months ago

Fewer and fewer people are willing to shell out [S]$1000-$1500[/S] for a new phone every year...

Fixed that for you.

Smartphone technology has plateaued - - no one needs to buy a new phone every year.

Plus, if you buy a quality device like an iPhone, which comes with 5 years of OS and security updates, your pro-rated annual cost is very reasonable.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zaft Avatar
19 months ago

Cutting costs again,and switching from high quality OLED panels made by Samsung to China brand..it’s sad.
and what happened to Apple’s investment in Japan Display company?? why change to Chinese brand??

You are assuming they are bad quality? On what basis?

Apple has high standards as they have not put on LG as a 2nd OLED supplier due to issues. Why would Apple suddenly accept substandard displays from China... for all we know they may end up being the same as Samsung’s.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
19 months ago

Samsung is not the only company on this earth to make good oled panels. Good move by “Tim Apple.”

True. Samsung isn't the only company to make good OLED panels. To date, they have been the only company to make good OLED panels at sufficient volume and quality. We don't know if this is a good move or not because we don't know what volume and quality BOE can supply.

Funny thing, BOE is not only rumored to supply some OLED to Apple but they are also rumored to be in talks with LG Electronics to supply OLED... replacing LG Display.
https://www.oled-info.com/will-lg-electronics-replace-lgd-boe-its-oled-supplier
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...