You may have heard that a few months ago, Apple caught BOE (one of the suppliers for iPhone 13 screens) cheating (more on that later) and dropped its orders to the company in favor of its current suppliers LG Display and Samsung Display.
Oddly enough, it looks like BOE isn’t ready to give up the battle for iPhone 14 display orders and The Elec now reports the company presents new display samples to Apple for approval.
BOE caught changing iPhone 13 screens now wants to earn a second chance at Apple
It appears that Cupertino is willing to evaluate samples from BOE for OLED panels for the iPhone 14 series, according to sources from The Elec. The same sources also reported that Chinese display maker BOE hopes to get approval from Apple within a month. And if Apple decides to give BOE a second chance, that means BOE could begin mass production of the panels for the standard iPhone 14 series model sometime in July or August.
With this, the Chinese company would be a few weeks behind its competitors: Samsung Display and LG Display. BOE’s rivals are expected to begin mass production by the end of this month.
But what exactly happened to BOE that caused Apple to drop its orders for iPhone 13 screens it had with the Chinese display maker? Well, interestingly (and without any reported reason), BOE went on to change the iPhone 13’s OLED panels. And without saying a word to Apple!
The change they did is reportedly changing the circuit width of the thin film transistors on the OLED panel. Basically what this meant was lowering the panel specs for the iPhone 13, making it thicker so it would be easier to manufacture.
Before choosing to cheat, BOE had to deal with issues such as low inventory of display driver chips, which were hit by the parts shortage the entire industry had as a result of the pandemic. In addition, the Chinese display manufacturer reportedly fell short of its efficiency targets.
As you might imagine, obsessed with quality Cupertino was not happy at all with BOE’s performance. In early February, Apple dropped BOE from its place as one of the iPhone 13 display manufacturers.
“Sorry, I won’t do it again?” — it looks like BOE wants to regain Apple’s trust and score some iPhone 14 orders. According to The Elec, BOE executives visited Cupertino to explain the situation and get approval… and it seems it has worked. The Elec sources said BOE recently received approval to provide panels for the iPhone 13.
The same unnamed sources predict that BOE will likely ship up to about 5 million iPhone 14 display units, given the recent fallout it had with Apple. Whether it will get approval at all is unclear at this point.