Apple display supplier BOE was reportedly cutting corners.
BOE Altered iPhone 13’s Display Design
Beijing Oriental Electronics (BOE) was one of the display suppliers listed by Apple to make OLED panels for iPhone 13 models.
BOE manufactured screens for refurbished iPhones. Then, Apple hired it to supply OLED displays for iPhone 12 in 2020.
In 2020, the company couldn’t deliver the first shipment of OLED panels to the iPhone maker as displays made by BOE didn’t pass the validation tests.
TheElac reported that BOE is yet to obtain approval from Apple to manufacture OLED panels for iPhone 14 smartphone series.
“The company was caught having changed the circuit width of the thin film transistors on the OLED panels it made for iPhone 13 earlier this year.”
The company altered the design without seeking Apple’s approval in its bid to boost the yield rate. Because of what it did, BOE might lose millions of iPhone 14 orders.
After the incident, BOE representatives were sent to Apple’s headquarters to explain the change. The company also asked the iPhone maker for its approval in producing OLED panels for iPhone 14. However, Apple has yet to approve it.
Deciding to change the design without Apple’s approval would haunt BOE for the long term. The iPhone maker might take it off the job of manufacturing the display for its upcoming smartphones.
Apple might announce the iPhone 14 this fall. But the production of this upcoming iPhone would start as soon as June.
Instead of relying on BOE, Apple might contract Samsung or LG Display to produce more panels. It would leave BOE long and hard to ponder about what it did.
Samsung may produce the 6.1 and 6.7-inch displays for iPhone 14 Pro. LG, on the other hand, would make the 6.7-inch display for iPhone Pro Max.
BOE problems continue because of chip shortages. Its production volume dropped since February. Another issue it’s facing is the yield rate for the panels, thus, it decided to cheat by lowering the specs on the displays.
LG Display is in direct competition with BOE. It has procured display driver ICS. Both companies are using LX Semicon as their supplier for the chips. But the supplier opted to provide to LG Display first because of the situation.
Samsung Display has no shortage issue because it obtains display driver ICS from Samsung System LSI. It’s a bigger company than LX Semicon.
If the situation continues, BOE could not meet its goal of supplying millions of OLED panels for various companies.
B12, a new factor of BOE, is also experiencing a low factor operation rate. Initially, it planned to manufacture OLED panels for OPPO. But because of low price competitiveness, the plan was scrapped.
There are various factors that affected the global chip shortage. During the pandemic, there was an increased demand for technology. Then, the manufacturers’ production was also disrupted because of COVID. Car makers are relying on microprocessor units, thereby, increasing the demand for chips.