Apple is getting just 20 million iPhone display panels from Chinese screen maker BOE instead of the 50 million it had hoped for. warned the CEO of UBI Research at the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) Settlement Seminar in Gangnam, Seoul.
Not only will all the expensive LTPO OLED displays with variable refresh rate for the iPhone 14 Pro series will go to the Samsung-LG duopoly, but the cheap LTPS screens for the iPhone 14 and 14 Max will mainly be made by the Korean companies charging a rather hefty premium, with BOE picking up the slack.
Mr. Lee Choong-hoon claims that of the total 238 million iPhone units that UBI expects Apple to ship this year, Samsung Display will bring in the lion’s share of 137.65 million units, or two-thirds of the total, followed by LG with 53.15 million and BOE with only 20 million units.
This leaves BOE with just 9% share of the iPhone screen supply chain, not materially higher than last year and signaling a failure in Apple’s efforts to stray from more expensive OLED panel suppliers.
BOE simply does not yet have the technology and manufacturing expertise to meet Apple’s quality and quantity requirements. Earlier this year BOE was caught changing the iPhone 13’s display designs of its own accord due to parts shortages, and Apple put its shipments on hold until it corrected that mistake.
For now, Apple seems stuck with Samsung and to a lesser extent LG as the only companies that can deliver the OLED screen technology it wants in the numbers and with the refresh rate, color reproduction and brightness it needs for its high-end iPhones, not that this still hinders enviable profit margins.