BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures
BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels.
Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices, but BOE ran into major production problems. In June, BOE failed to deliver its first shipment of OLED panels to Apple as displays created by BOE failed validation tests.
Samsung Display ended up shipping the panels for the higher-end iPhone 12 models and the iPhone 12 mini, while LG Display made panels for the standard 6.1-inch iPhone 12.
At the time of the failures, BOE's yield rate was around 20 percent, which was not sufficient to meet Apple's needs. BOE was rumored to be working to improve its yield rate, but as of November, was unable to secure a supply order from Apple.
A report from The Elec in November suggested that Apple would revisit BOE's manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China in May or June, and if it passed validation tests at that time, BOE display panels could be used for refurbished iPhone 12 models and perhaps some iPhone 13 inventory.
Economic Daily News suggests that BOE's position in Apple's supply chain has improved, and its OLED technology is now "closer to that of major South Korean manufacturers." The site also says that BOE has now completed certification tests and is manufacturing a small number of displays for the iPhone 12, but it's not clear if that's accurate given the mixed rumors.
iPhone 13 displays are expected to be more technically difficult to manufacture due to Apple's switch to LTPO technology to adopt 120Hz refresh rates on some models, but prior rumors have also suggested that BOE could win some orders.
The iPhone 13 lineup is expected to be identical to the iPhone 12 lineup with four iPhones in 6.1, 5.4, and 6.7-inch sizes, with Apple offering both standard and Pro models. Pro models are expected to feature 120Hz refresh rates, with Apple bringing the iPad Pro's "ProMotion" technology to the iPhone for the first time.