Samsung’s iPhone business under threat from China

Samsung’s iPhone business is under growing threat from Chinese competitor BOE, which is preparing to match the Korean supplier’s production.

When Apple launched the iPhone X, Samsung was the only OLED supplier that could meet the demanding requirements of the Cupertino-based company for both sophistication and yield. Since then, Apple has added both LG and BOE as secondary suppliers of iPhone screens, but Samsung has kept most of the orders.

A new report is coming The Elec suggests that this could change.

Chinese display giant BOE was in the process of transforming its three factories __ B7, B11 and B12 __ to produce flexible OLED panels for smartphones for Apple, claims analyst firm UBI Research.

Therefore, BOE is likely to overtake LG Display as a major supplier of OLED for the iPhone by 2023, UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi said at an online seminar on Friday.

The Chinese display giant aims to become the second largest supplier of OLED panels to Apple by converting its three factories, Yi said.

The total production capacity of BOE flexible OLED panels will expand from its current 96,000 substrates per month (Gen 6 substrates) to 144,000 substrates per month by the fourth quarter of next year, the CEO said.

This is the level with the current capacity of Samsung Display of 140,000 substrates per month.

LG also aims to double its production to 60,000 substrates per month.

Both increases are likely to lead to a drop in Samsung’s orders as Apple seeks to balance supply to reduce dependence on one company.

However, there will be more Apple OLED jobs in the future. Reports point to the possibility of an OLED iPad in 2024 and an OLED MacBook in 2025, on the way to a long-term transition to microLED. (The latest flagship iPad and MacBook models currently use IPS LCD screens with miniLED backlighting.)

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Naveen Kumar

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