One of Apple’s manufacturing partners for iPhone 12 has reportedly failed to deliver its first shipment of OLED panels this week. BOE is said to have run into quality assurance troubles ahead of mass-production.
It’s not yet clear if this will have an impact on iPhone 12 supply.
BOE has long been supplying Apple with LCD displays for iPad and MacBook, but Apple began testing the company’s new OLED panels last year as it looked to reduce its reliance on industry rival Samsung.
It was believed that Samsung’s share of OLED panel manufacturing for iPhone would drop to around 80% for the iPhone 12 lineup, with BOE and LG sharing the rest. That could change with BOE already running into problems.
BOE fails quality control tests for iPhone 12
A Friday report from Korea’s DDaily claims BOE was unable to pass Apple’s strict OLED quality control tests. It’s unclear at this point what the situation is today, or whether this could impact iPhone 12 production.
An earlier report out of Asia indicated Apple had now begun the second phase of the Engineering Validation Test (EVT) process for iPhone 12, with production supposedly scheduled to begin next month.
Apple is expected to introduce four iPhone 12 models this fall, each of which may come in two variants with different 5G connectivity standards. Shipping may not begin until October due to COVID-19 delays.
Samsung’s strong hold on iPhone
BOE’s hiccups will be disappointing to Apple, which has been working toward a more diverse supply chain for several years. When it comes to OLED panels, the company has struggled to find quality suppliers.
Samsung was the sole provider of OLED panels for iPhone X, and while LG joined the roster for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, it is responsible for only a small percentage of Apple’s total orders.