Ever since Apple switched to the OLED display panels for its iPhones, it has relied a lot on Samsung for its supplies. There is now information emerging from some South Korean sources that Apple now has a new contract with the Chinese panel manufacturer BOE. The other South Korean company LG has also been part of the equation supplying its OLED panels to Apple. The Japanese source Japan Display has also been developed by Apple as a vendor for OLED panels. At this juncture, the Japanese company is limited to supplying the smaller sized OLED panels for the Apple watches.
BOE Could be the Second Largest Vendor After Samsung
The South Korean report claims the order from Apple to BOE could be worth 45 million units to be supplied. The implied understanding is the OLED panels from BOE may ultimately be seen on the iPhones from 2021, rather than 2020 since it does take that long to adjust the production schedules and start making the deliveries. The quantity indicated, if true, is quite large and BOE could end up being the second-largest vendor. This would also mean that LG would then be pushed to be being the third-largest vendor of OLED panels to the Cupertino-based tech giant.
There have been many estimates doing the rounds on the numbers Apple will achieve as iPhone sales in 2020 and 2021. They appear quite healthy, particularly considering the beating it had to endure over the past couple of years. However, these are common developments in any industry, dropping one vendor and finding new vendors. When the company finds its demand increasing, it tries to cover the risks by spreading the orders for components among different vendors, thereby reducing the dependence on one vendor.
All OLED Panels Expected from 2020
As far as Apple is concerned, the significant point is that the company has almost decided to go with the OLED panels, doing away with the LCD panels for good. Till this year, the lower-ranked iPhone XR or iPhone 11 devices have been sporting the LCD panels and the other higher-end models have been selling with OLED panels. Switching to the all-OLED panel formula would mean the demand for these panels goes up. Interestingly, it is the lower-priced models that sell more in the market and any discussion on the quantities will mean more of these phones.
The focus, meanwhile, may shift to the iPhone SE2 or the iPhone 9, likely to be the first launch in 2020 for Apple.