New iPhone display maker will loosen Samsung’s grip on Apple

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Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Apple could be adding a new OLED maker to its supply chain.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Samsung’s hold on Apple’s OLED business for the iPhone could be further eroded as a new display maker enters the supply chain.

According to a new rumor, Chinese manufacturer BOE Technology Group is gearing up to make OLED panels for the iPhone, starting in 2021.

Samsung was Apple’s sole OLED display maker starting with the iPhone X in 2017. Last year, Apple reportedly added South Korean company LG Display to its list of OLED display makers, alongside Samsung. Now it’s adding BOE to the group.

Samsung will reportedly keep the majority of iPhone orders among the group of display makers. But its “grip over Apple would be reduced” thanks to the other suppliers.

BOE already produces LCD screens for the iPad and MacBook. This would be the first time that it has sold OLED screens to Apple, though. BOE is one of the main screen suppliers for Huawei, China’s largest smartphone brand.

Today’s report, from RPRNA, claims that:

“According to the Korean media reports, BOE’s OLED screen will give a strong competition to Samsung in the next 2 years. BOE may start shipping the OLED panels to Apple in 2020. According to the South Korean analysts, BOE will ship 45 million OLED panels for the iPhone in 2021.”

Teaming up with another OLED supplier will reduce the risk of production problems should Samsung run into difficulties. It will also allow Apple to negotiate better rates for OLED panels.