The report claims Apple is “aggressively testing” screens made by the Chinese display maker, as it looks for ways to cut costs and reduce its reliance on Samsung as its primary OLED display supplier.
BOE, which is the world’s largest producer of large liquid crystal displays (they already make LCD screens for Apple’s MacBook and iPad lineups), has begun expanding their production abilities to OLED panels. The OLED panel market is expected to be worth over $30 billion this year.
The Nikkei report says Apple is currently testing flexible OLED displays from BOE’s facility in Chengdu, Sichuan province. That facility is China’s first production site for the displays. BOE is also reportedly building another factory in the Sichuan province, which would be used to fill orders from Apple.
Apple doesn’t like to rely on one supplier for its components, keeping its supply chain diversified helps keep costs down while also improving its supply chain reliability.
Apple is expected to complete a transition to an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2020. Well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to release 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models with OLED displays and a lower-end 6.1-inch model with an OLED display.