Chinese iPhone 15 display supplier abandoned by Apple at the last minute

Apple’s plan to cut manufacturing costs by equipping the iPhone 15 with cheaper OLED screens ordered from China has failed, with product samples sent for validation by supplier BOE failing to meet the strict quality criteria required by the US company.

According to rumours, Apple had intended to equip the next iPhone model with OLED screens supplied by Chinese manufacturer BOE, but plans were scuppered at the quality validation stage, with samples sent for validation failing to meet Apple’s strict requirements. Specifically, the OLED screens proposed by the Chinese supplier “leaked” too much light in the area of the oval perforation at the top. More than an aesthetic flaw, the diffused light could interfere with the front camera and the various sensors housed in the so-called Dynamic Island.

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Coming after major investments in developing OLED display manufacturing capabilities, the rejection received from Apple represents a double defeat for the Chinese manufacturer, which thus sees its main rival, Samsung, becoming virtually the exclusive OLED supplier for the smartphone industry’s most coveted and lucrative customer.

Flooded with orders for OLED screens, Samsung will start production of screens for the base model iPhone 15 as early as May, a month earlier than anticipated. However, it’s not yet certain that the South Korean manufacturer will be able to deliver the ordered screens quickly enough. With only LG Display left in the role of alternative supplier, Apple probably won’t refuse the BOE-supplied screens if the reported problems are fixed.

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