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Company News >> Supply to Apple: The struggle between the three major OLED suppliers of BOE/Samsung Display/LGD 19th,Jan,2022
                                         A few days ago, according to upstream and downstream industry chain information, domestic panel manufacturer BOE (BOE) has obtained a conditional risk mass production license for the iPhone 13 from Apple in September, and will start supplying in the fourth quarter. RUNTO predicts that in the whole year of 2021, BOE's AMOLED mobile phone panel shipments are expected to reach 50 million pieces, of which shipments to Apple's iPhone will exceed industry expectations, reaching at least 17 million pieces.

The struggle between the three major OLED suppliers of BOE, Samsung Display and LGD

After BOE obtained the iPhone 12 certification in December last year, BOE has once again obtained the risk mass production license for the basic 6.06-inch iPhone 13, which will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

Judging from the licensing rhythm of the iPhone 12 to 13 series and Apple's strategic demand, BOE is expected to supply LTPS OLED panels from the very beginning of the launch of the iPhone 14 next year. At present, the new iPhone 13 products that have just been launched are still only supplied by Samsung Display (SDC) and LG Display (LGD).

Apple's iPhone 14 plans to launch four models next year: 6.06-inch base model, 6.7-inch Plus, 6.06-inch Pro and 6.7-inch Pro Max. Under the iPhone 13 rules, Apple is expected to use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) TFTs for the latter two models. Among the first two models, the 6.06-inch basic model will still follow the LTPS TFT, and the 6.7-inch Plus has not yet decided whether to use LTPS or LTPO.

The first thing BOE can ensure is the 6.06-inch basic model, because the size of the previously approved iPhone 12 and this year's conditionally approved iPhone 13 basic model are both 6.06 inches. If the final 6.7-inch Plus is also LTPS, then BOE can also expect to supply.

Ultimately, BOE will become one of Apple's stable ternary suppliers. On the one hand, the quality of BOE's products improves month by month under Apple's stringent requirements. During the certification process of the iPhone 13, difficulties were encountered in the characteristics of luminescent materials and the touch screen, which were later resolved through material and technical adjustments. Even after obtaining limited certification, BOE still needs to make up for the shortcomings within the time limit agreed by the two parties, and it is possible to achieve mass supply within the year. On the other hand, the involvement of BOE will help Apple to expand its bargaining chips with Samsung and LGD, especially Samsung.

Samsung and LGD will continue to strive to maintain their advantages in technology and production. In addition to the 6-inch iPhone OLED, technology development is currently centered on products that may be suitable for OLED, such as the iPad and iMac larger than 10 inches. Apple is considering determining the number and price of OLED iPad panels that Samsung Display will supply next year.

The LTPO technology of LGD and BOE will also have an impact on the TFT method of the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus next year. At present, LGD and BOE are still immature on LTPO TFT, so the LTPO panel used for the first time in iPhone 13 this year is only from Samsung. Apple hopes to reduce its dependence on Samsung, and does not want its proportion to increase further. If neither LGD nor BOE can supply LTPO OLED stably, from the perspective of Apple's supplier strategy, there is no need to apply LTPO to the three products in the iPhone 14 series.

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