It is said that BOE only supplies one model of OLED panels in this year’s Apple iPhone 15 series, and the output is lower than that of Samsung Display and LG Display (LGD), mainly because of technical problems. In addition, the patent infringement warning with Samsung is also a pressure factor.
Previously, the industry estimated that BOE would provide OLED panels for the two regular versions of the iPhone 15. However, according to industry insiders, it may now become only one model, which is expected to be released in the second half of the year.
This year, the two regular versions of the iPhone 15 series use LTPS-TFT technology, while the high-end models use LTPO-TFT, which has lower power consumption and higher process and technical difficulties. Among them, BOE did not supply the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus, only the 6.1-inch normal model, Samsung Display provided all four types of OLED, and LGD provided two high-end models.
The industry believes that the change in BOE’s supply is mainly due to Apple’s intention to diversify risks and Samsung Display’s patent infringement warning. Although BOE has greatly improved its technology, it is difficult to catch up with Samsung and LG. Last year, Apple discovered that BOE modified the iPhone OLED design without authorization in order to increase iPhone 13 OLED production.
Although BOE has been involved in the supply chain for a while, it is reported that Apple believes that BOE technology is not yet capable of supplying the two new iPhones. Demand for the iPhone is mainly concentrated within three to four months after the launch of new products, so supply must be stable at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half to cope with the market peak at the end of the year. If the panel factory is too late to produce, Apple will have to ask other companies to increase production. Among the price negotiations may make Apple suffer losses. In addition, the regular version of the iPhone 15 will add a perforated screen, which is more technically difficult.
At the same time, Samsung Display has repeatedly issued patent infringement warnings, which is also a major factor. Samsung Display previously warned BOE and other companies to infringe OLED patents. It filed a patent infringement investigation with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in December last year and listed 17 US wholesalers as defendants. However, the industry agreed that BOE was the real target.
Due to technical and patent issues, BOE does not expect a significant increase in iPhone OLED production this year. The company is subsidizing the B11 factory in Shenyang, China, which manufactures iPhone OLED panels, and the Shenyang government is said to be considering reducing subsidies for B11 this year.
(Source of the first picture: Science and Technology News)