Daily Management Review

Apple Testing OLED Displays From China's BOE: Nikkei


Apple Testing OLED Displays From China's BOE: Nikkei
Starting next year, advanced screens for iPhones from top Chinese display maker BOE Technology Group could be installed. The iPhone maker Apple is reported to be in the final stages of certifying the fixture. Analysts see this move as a measure by Apple to bring down costs and reduce its reliance on South Korea's Samsung Electronics for its displays.
According to a reports published in the Nikkei Asian Review citing sources, BOE's flexible organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, displays is being “aggressively” tested by the iPhone maker. This could result in the first time Apple sourcing this advanced display technology from China. The report claimed that a final decision on the issue would be taken by Apple about whether to appoint the Chinese display maker as a supplier for itself.
For the Chinese display panel industry, if the BOE is able to get into the supply chain of Apple which is one of the most demanding in the world, it would be a major forward leap. The Chinese display panel industry has been supported by state and public support worth billions of dollars in e last decade or so. This sector has been well supported by Chinese authorities through grants and subsidies in a larger strategy of propping the industry to become part of the global consumer electronics value chain.
According to IDTechEx Research, compared to a total value of $25.5 billion last year, the global market for OLED is expected to grow rapidly in the near future with the value touching more than $30 billion this year.
Low power is consumed by these advanced displays while generating light as an electric current passes through thin films of organic materials. These advanced screens can also be used in wearable and other electronic devices apart from them being able to produce better contrast and color, create thinner smartphones and foldable screens.
High-quality OLED technology that is satisfactory to Apple has not been able to be provided by neither US nor Japanese display makers. The current display screen market is dominated by Samsung with a more than 90% share and the South Korean company is also the current supplier of displays for Apple’s iPhones,
Samsung Display's position could be threatened by the entry of BOE as an OLED supplier while it would also give Apple greater bargaining power to extract lower prices from its suppliers in South Korea. Huawei Technologies' revolutionary Mate X foldable smartphone is supplied by BOE even though the company first started manufacturing flexible OLED screens at the end of 2017. The Huawei phone is a rival to Samsung's Galaxy Fold.
The report stated that testing of the flexible OLED displays from the Chinese company is being conducted currently by Apple at factory of the BOE in the Sichuan Province city of Chengdu. This is the only facility in China that manufactures such advanced displays.
According to reports, Apple is anticipated to come out with at least two new iPhones that have OLED displays in 2020. The report also stated that all the new iPhone models due to be unveiled in September of next year is also being considered by the company to be fitted with OLED screens.