BOE Gets Closer to Fully Qualifying as Supplier of OLED Panels to Apple
BOE has been able to provide small quantities of OLED displays, primarily for screen repair and replacements, but has not quite been able to meet Apple’s standards.
Apple has given BOE ‘conditional’ approval as an OLED supplier for the iPhone 13. In this case conditional means that BOE has not yet met full compliance with Apple’s standards but has a prescribed period during which to fix issues or to meet other Apple requirements in order to become a fully approved supplier. We believe this is not the first time BOE has reached this stage with Apple, having failed to fully qualify previously, but at least they are back in the running once again and given the close similarity to the iPhone 12, which BOE has been approved to produce, this go round should be a bit easier than last year.
Volumes to be relatively small, likely less than 5m, potentially due to the fact that BOE would likely have to be separately qualified to produce LTPO OLED displays that are used in the two upper-tier iPhone models. Samsung Display is the only supplier of LTPO (VRR) OLED panels, both BOE and LG Display would be looking to take share from SDC. LGD claims it will be ready for the iPhone 15.
Apple will eventually use BOE to pressure Samsung squeeze out a few more pricing concessions from SDC and LGD. For BOE to become a high volume small panel OLED supplier to Apple, price is not the biggest factor and the massive amount of experience SDC has with small panel OLED will take years for BOE to develop while at the same time SDC and LGD keep pushing the OLED development cycle.