Apple is reportedly looking to diversify its supply chain of display components for the 2020 iPhone lineup.
According to a new report from Nikkei Asian Review, Apple is in the final stages of certifying advanced screens from China’s top display maker BOE Technology Group for 2020 iPhones in an attempt to reduce costs and lesson its reliance on Samsung Electronics for such displays.
The article says the tech giant is “aggressively testing” BOE’s flexible organic light-emitting displays (OLED). Apple will purportedly decide by the end of 2019 whether to take BOE on as a supplier of its single most expensive component.
BOE, the world’s largest producer of large liquid crystal displays (they already make LCD screens for Apple’s MacBook and iPad lineups), has begun expanding their production abilities to OLED panels. The OLED panel market is expected to be worth over $30 billion USD this year.
The Nikkei report says Apple is currently testing flexible OLED displays from BOE’s facility in Chengdu, Sichuan province. That facility is China’s first production site for the displays. BOE is also reportedly building another factory in the Sichuan province which would be used to fill orders from Apple.
Recent reports have suggested that Apple will likely use OLED screens in all three of its new 2020 iPhone models, which are currently expected to be 5G-capable successors to this year’s “iPhone 11” and two “iPhone 11 Pro” sizes, akin to the iPhone XS and XS Max. If leaks from the company’s supply chain can be believed, Apple plans to use a 5.42-inch display in the smallest device before stepping up to 6.06-inch and 6.67-inch screens in the higher-end models.