Apple’s iPhone OLED orders are currently fulfilled by Samsung and LG, with previous rumours indicating that Chinese company BOE would supply LTPO panels for next year’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, another manufacturer in the same location may be interested in some of those orders, albeit the process may not be as straightforward as one might imagine.
As BOE prepares to repurpose a factory to mass-produce iPad OLED screens, The Elec reports that CSOT is also interested in getting in on the action and plans to build a demonstration line to see where its display quality falls.
Currently, this display maker supplies Samsung with OLED screens for its lower-cost Galaxy M models, but it is expected to step it up a notch this year by supplying panels for a somewhat higher-end Galaxy A73.
If everything goes according to plan, CSOT will start mass production at its T4 factory in Wuhan, China. The T4 facility can produce Gen 6 (1500 x 1850mm) flexible OLEDs with a monthly capacity of over 45,000 units.
However, as BOE has won orders to supply Apple with only LTPS screens for the less premium iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 units, the path ahead may be littered with more than CSOT’s fair share of stumbling blocks.
Despite having reportedly received iPhone 14 panel orders, the Chinese behemoth is only able to fulfill orders for non-Pro models. It may be some time before BOE meets Apple’s quality standards and begins mass-producing LTPO displays for the higher-end iPhone models. This demonstrates that CSOT needs to improve its quality, and if that wasn’t enough, another Chinese panel maker, Visionix, went through Apple’s review in Q4 2021 to secure OLED orders.
Unfortunately, Visionix’s strategy did not proceed as planned, but it appears that it will attempt again at an undisclosed period. Increasing the number of Chinese suppliers will put pressure on Samsung and LG to cut their OLED prices, but if Apple continues to rely on these two for LTPO orders, the plan will fail.