BOE Technology Group is vying for a piece of Apple’s OLED panel action for use in future iPhones, says a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
The Chinese company is the top manufacturer of large liquid crystal screens, and already makes displays for Apple’s MacBooks and iPads. The company wouldn’t get a piece of the action for 2018 or 2019 devices, instead 2020 would be the soonest BOE would get any of the OLED screen pie.
The earliest BOE could supply the OLED screens would be from 2020, one person familiar with the matter said. For iPhones intended for release later this year, Apple is set to procure screens mainly from Samsung, with a small portion coming from LG Display Co. , people have said.
This isn’t the first time Apple has considered using BOE as an OLED display provider, as a 2017 Bloomberg report said the Cupertino firm had been testing BOE’s OLED displays, but hadn’t decided to add the company as a supplier.
The OLED display manufacturing process is much more difficult than that of making liquid crystal displays. BOE will need to reassure Apple that it can produce an adequate number of OLED panels of a high enough quality.
BOE is already one of China’s largest display makers, recently spending around $14.5 billion to open two AMOLED factories. One new factory is already open, while the other will open in a few years. At full capacity, the factories are expected to produce up to 1.6 million square-meters of flexible glass substrates per month.