Samsung Begins Mass Producing OLED Displays for iPhone 15
Apple's main OLED supplier Samsung has received mass production approval for the displays for all four models in Apple's iPhone 15 series, which are expected to be released in September.
Korean-language based The Elec reports that Samsung Display was granted approval on August 1, ahead of rivals LG Display and BOE. LG Display, which is supplying OLED panels for both iPhone 15 Pro models, has received conditional approval for the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, with formal approval for the iPhone 15 Pro Max expected in a month or two. BOE, which is supplying OLED displays for the standard iPhone 15 and larger iPhone 15 Plus, is still awaiting conditional approval from Apple.
Rumors have suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will have slimmer bezels than the iPhone 14 Pro models, and that this decrease in bezel size is creating manufacturing issues. LG Display in particular is said to have had setbacks in implementing the smaller bezels, and both LG and BOE have faced difficulties in adding cutouts for the Dynamic Island, with the latter supplier highly likely to miss shipments for the rest of the year as a result. BOE has subsequently had to hand over initial OLED shipments to Samsung, which is now expected to achieve higher shipments in 2023 than previously expected.
Although LG Display did not receive mass production approval in time, industry observers have suggested LG's losses may be limited due to other production disruptions that have occurred on the camera module supply side. Image sensors for the iPhone 15 series are being mainly supplied by Sony, while the folded zoom components for the Periscope lens on the Pro Max model are coming from LG Innotek. However, the production yield of both components is said to have fallen below expectations.
According to the report, Apple is likely to be prioritizing production of the 6.1-inch Pro model over the 6.7-inch Pro Max, which is currently experiencing the most production disruption, in order to guarantee a 50-60% supply of Pro models this year. Despite the disruptions, a report from The Information suggests Apple will still release all iPhone 15 models in September as expected, although there could be a limited number of iPhone 15 Pro Max devices available in the first weeks after launch.