You may remember the story of the Chinese glass manufacturer BOE. The company wanted so badly to become an iPhone supplier and started to work its way up. First, it supplied replacement OLED panels for units that required new glass. That gave Apple the confidence to allow BOE to supply some iPhone 12 units, and reportedly gave the company the ability to supply Apple with up to 40 million screens for a variety of iPhone models.
To improve production yields, BOE unilaterally changed the specifications of the 6.1-inch panels it was building
BOE’s factory is fortunate to still be producing iPhone 14 panels from its factories after unilaterally changing specifications on panels for Apple
The glassmaker’s actions had pushed the company so far outside of Apple’s supply chain that Apple probably wouldn’t even allow BOE to supply the glass for its $19 polishing cloth. Yes, we know there’s no glass on that product. has been used, which is kind of our point.
Apple still gets something out of its decision to let BOE hang out
And in typical Apple fashion, it’s actually beneficial for Apple to let BOE hang out. It keeps both Samsung and LG fair when it comes to pricing, as both companies see another potential OLED supplier lurking in the background, poised to give Apple a better deal on iPhone displays.
You might want to know why BOE messed up the specs for the iPhone 14 panels it was building. Apparently, the company reported low yields, meaning a large number of the panels it was building failed to pass QC or quality control tests. Making the width of the film transistors thicker made the panels easier to manufacture and increased yields.
Unfortunately for BOE, Apple discovered the ruse and couldn’t be tricked. This makes us wonder what the Chinese manufacturer’s endgame was, or even if it had one. Apple would definitely discover the change eventually. When Apple found out what had happened, BOE sent what it described as a “C-level” executive to Cupertino in an attempt to explain what had happened and ask for forgiveness from Apple, which it apparently received.
The upcoming Apple iPhone 14 series is expected to include a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and the premium iPhone 14 Pro Max.