Apple Drops BOE iPhone Displays After Discovering Unexpected Design Changes

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.

iPhone 13 Face ID
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.

Top Rated Comments

coolfactor Avatar
8 months ago
Changing specifications behind a client's back to reduce operating costs? That's a big no-no.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stunning_Sense4712 Avatar
8 months ago

Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
I disagree. China is known for dodgy practices in general. You have them manufactoring dangerous knock off chargers, selling questionable batteries, stealing IP, selling equipment that failed QC or a device that was supposed to be destroyed, and making design/material changes without approval.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Solomani Avatar
8 months ago

Changing specifications behind a client's back to reduce operating costs? That's a big no-no.
A Chinese supplier cutting corners. Color me shocked! Shocked!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nathan_reilly Avatar
8 months ago

Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
yeah, of course, the reason China bad is really America bad.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
russell_314 Avatar
8 months ago

What does Apple expect from a Chinese manufacturer that is par the course.
Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bassexpander Avatar
8 months ago

Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad. The reason why China got a reputation for cheap products had nothing to do with Chinese people or corporations but an American corporation specifically one that wanted the cheapest possible items and bought it in bulk to sell at an extreme markup. 60 years later they’re still doing this.
I live in Asia. Been here for 20 years. If you don’t run your own QC (Apple obviously does) then many of the locals in China feel as if they’ve achieved something spectacular if they can get away with dropping quality midway, to pocket more money. It’s an endemic problem in Asia, and many, many foreign companies learned the hard way.

US manufacturers once took great pride in “a job well done.” Japanese manufacturers are about perfection. Germans will over-engineer a product to amazing specs. But Chinese will wheel and deal in a lightning fashion, then pull the rug out from under quality and feel absolutely giddy if they can get away with giving less than was ordered. Proud, in fact.

Of course, there are companies who have learned long term gains are better than short term cheats. Juggernauts like Apple will give their business to the first group, and dump the rest like a bad habit.

It’s not racist to call this out. China is not a race. It is a cultural issue they have been changing (but it still exists). Korea was once this way, but it has become a world leader in tech, and they are darned proud of it.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iPhone 13 Face ID

Apple Supplier BOE Could Be Frozen Out of Supply Chain for iPhone 14 OLED Panels

Friday May 20, 2022 3:19 am PDT by
Apple supplier BOE is still waiting to receive approval from Apple to manufacture OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone 14 series, after the company was found to have made design changes without Apple's approval (via The Elec). Earlier this month, Apple cut the Chinese display manufacturer out of the iPhone 13 supply chain after it was found to have changed the design of its OLED panels by...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Apple Said to Be Evaluating iPhone 14 OLED Displays This Week Ahead of Mass Production

Monday June 20, 2022 3:50 am PDT by
Apple is evaluating OLED displays for the iPhone 14 this week ahead of mass production, The Elec reports. The OLED display panels in question are reportedly destined for the standard, 6.1-inch iPhone 14 model, with mass production due to begin between July and August. The displays are from Chinese display panel maker BOE, which was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after Apple...
OLED iPad Pro Feature

LG Preparing to Supply OLED Panels for iPad by 2024

Monday January 17, 2022 9:04 am PST by
LG Display is preparing to supply Apple with OLED display panels destined for upcoming iPad models, ETNews reports. LG's preparations to supply Apple with OLED displays for the iPad reportedly include the expansion of its plant in Paju, South Korea. The increased production capacity is said to take account of next-generation iPhone and iPad models. The introduction of OLED panels to the...
OLED iPad Pro Feature

LG Preparing Production Lines for iPad OLED Display Panels

Tuesday February 8, 2022 5:41 am PST by
iPad models with OLED displays appear to be ebbing closer to production, as LG Display is preparing equipment at its facilities to make OLED panels specifically for future iPads, The Elec reports. The company is purportedly making significant adjustments to its production lines to be able to supply Apple with OLED display panels for future iPad models. According to the report, this is...
OLED iPad Air

Apple Could Adopt Hybrid OLED Technology for Future iPads

Wednesday August 31, 2022 7:08 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored plans to transition to OLED technology for future iPad models could involve using "hybrid" OLED technology that combines both rigid and flexible OLED panel materials, according to The Elec (original Korean-language version). The report claims that Apple is reluctant to rely solely on the flexible OLED technology it uses in its iPhone models, as the panels have a tendency to...
OLED iPad Pro Feature

Apple Suppliers Already Working on Second-Generation OLED iPad

Thursday June 30, 2022 4:18 am PDT by
Apple suppliers are already working on display panels for second-generation OLED iPad models, The Elec reports. Samsung Display is said to be in the process of negotiating prices for new Gen 8.5 OLED deposition equipment designed to make OLED display panels for devices like tablets. Samsung is reportedly planning to use the equipment to mass-produce Gen 8.5 OLED panels in late 2024 for the...
OLED iPad Air

Apple Could Release OLED iPad With Samsung Display Panel in 2024

Monday January 10, 2022 6:28 pm PST by
Apple might release an iPad with an OLED display provided by Samsung in 2024, according to a report from The Elec. Samsung is developing the necessary equipment to create the OLED panels that Apple wants for its iPads, but Apple will need to make a big enough order to make the project financially viable. The Elec says that Apple and Samsung were working together to create a 10.86-inch OLED...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

LG Working to Bring OLED Displays to Future iPad and MacBook Models

Friday March 18, 2022 4:30 am PDT by
LG is working to supply Apple with OLED display panels for two iPad models before providing larger panels for the company's first OLED MacBook around 2025, The Elec reports. LG Display is reportedly aiming to supply Apple with Gen 8.5 OLED panels for Apple's first OLED MacBook. The device is said to be scheduled to launch "around 2025." LG has been evaluating the deposition process to...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Cyber Monday iPhone Deals Available Today

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Cyber Monday is no different. We're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Cyber Monday iPad Deals Available Today

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Cyber Monday deals have been in full swing since Black Friday deals ended, and we're seeing solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Cyber Monday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make ...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Cyber Monday iMac and MacBook Deals Available Today

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Cyber Monday coverage continues with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all holiday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Cyber Monday Apple Watch Deals Available Today

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Cyber Monday, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Cyber Monday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....