As per the new report, Apple is now testing flexible OLED displays from BOE's facility in Chengdu, Sichuan province which is among the first sites in China to produce flexible OLED displays. Apple is reportedly looking to diversify its supply chain of display components for the 2020 iPhone lineup.
Apple was buying OLED screens exclusively from Samsung for the iPhone X, with other manufacturers unable to meet the strict quality standards and incredibly high production rates of the iPhone. If you didn't know then, yes, Samsung makes those display panels for Apple and makes billions of dollars by the sales of iPhone.
Apple has always been rumored to desperately want to diversify its supply chain when it comes to OLED panels for iPhones. One of those suppliers is said to be BOE Technology.
The current largest supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone is Samsung, followed far behind by LG Display. If the deal goes through, BOE could become the biggest supplier of OLED displays for the 2020 iPhone lineup.
"Apple has the incentive to qualify a new supplier for OLED display as [others] are a bit reluctant to invest too much to expand capacity", said Eric Chiou, a veteran analyst at Taipei-based research company WitsView.
It's not clear if these companies are also being evaluated by Apple at this time.
Two sources with knowledge of the situation said BOE was likely to supply the new iPhones next year if it wins certification.
Why it matters: If Apple chooses BOE's screens, the Chinese state-owned company could begin to challenge Samsung's supremacy in the display panel sector. It will also allow Apple to negotiate better rates for OLED panels.
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