Samsung has been the pioneer of the mobile OLED displays. Their proprietary AMOLED displays have been used not only in their Galaxy smartphone but also by some of the biggest competitors in the Industry. Samsung this year exclusively supplied the display panel for the iPhone X. However, Samsung could soon lose its contract with Apple if China’s largest screen manufacturer, BOE, manages to convince Cupertino to sign a deal for future iPhone models.
It’s no secret that Apple wants to reduce its reliance on Samsung, and now the company might get a chance to do it. According to a Softpedia report, BOE has prepared OLED production lines that would be exclusive to Apple and be used for the next generation iPhones.
The report adds that BOE officials have already travelled to Cupertino to discuss the possibility of a partnership for OLED manufacturing, and what’s more, the Chinese firm has even made changes to its production lines in anticipation of a potential agreement.
The B11 line located in Sichuan could be used for making iPhone OLED displays, while the B12 line currently under construction could help reach Apple’s typical high volumes for screen production. BOE will invest a total of $7 billion in the B12 production facility only; with even more money to be spent on additional equipment should the deal be signed. It is to be noted that BOE did supply prototype OLED units to Apple before the iPhone X was launched.
And if it is, Samsung is very close to losing Apple, as Cupertino is also working with LG Display to build screens for the iPhone. LG has been the sole suppliers for Google Pixel 2 XL’s OLED display this year.
People familiar with Apple’s business revealed recently the company invested no less than $2.7 billion in a new LG facility that would be specifically used for building iPhone screens, all part of a plan to scale down the collaboration with Samsung.
With a second supplier in place, Apple would be in a position to negotiate the deal with Samsung in a more aggressive way, while the company is also contemplating to completely give up on its partnership with the South Koreans.
The bigger challenge for BOE is to meet Apple’s requirements for the OLED displays that it produces.