BOE OLED Equipment Suppliers
June 19, 2017
BOE has aggressive plans for building their OLED production capacity with three projects in planning, construction, or expansion modes, and while there are some significant differences between these three projects, BOE has likely chosen a number of equipment suppliers that could be used for at least a portion of each project, or the entire project. BOE three OLED fabs include:
The Ordos line has been in operation (phase 1) since late 2015, but production goals were not met until late 2016 or early 2017. The Chengdu line is expected to begin production in the near-term, but again, volume production will take some time. The Mianyang fab is scheduled for July 2019 (phase 1) but remains a lose timeline. As the equipment roster for such fabs is quite large, we have listed a number of suppliers that we believe have been selected by BOE for these projects most recently. Earlier fab build-outs might use other manufacturers for the same tasks, but we believe these will be used in current build-outs. This is by no means a complete list, as there are many other suppliers of equipment used in the TFT and OLED manufacturing processes, but as noted below, much of the equipment comes from South Korea, where the OLED supply chain has developed around Samsung Display and LG Display. BOE has been supplying OLED samples to a number of smartphone brands, and is vying for a spot as an alternative supplier to Samsung Display in 2018 or 2019 for Apple’s iPhone along with LG Display. BOE could have the capacity to compete in 2018, but it is unlikely that they could produce flexible displays that meet Apple’s quality requirements so quickly. BOE is likely to be a viable OLED supplier to Apple in the 2019 – 2020 timeframe, but they will have to compete with Sharp and JDI for the 3rd supplier position. In the interim, BOE will cut its OLED teeth on local OEMs, where there is currently a shortage of OLEDs. The table below shows some of BOE’s suppliers.
Table 1: BOE Suppliers for 6th Gen OLED Fab