It was only Monday that Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Reportedly Signed a Second Deal with Samsung for Additional OLED Displays for Next Gen iPhone(s)." The two deals with Samsung would account for 160 million OLED displays. That in itself is staggering and yet today we're learning that Apple is in discussions with China's BOE Technology Group Co. to supply next-generation displays for future iPhones. So who is the BOE Technology Group?
According to the company's literature, BOE Technology Group Co., Ltd., was founded in April 1993, is a supplier of internet of things technologies, products and services. BOE's three core businesses are Display Device, Smart System and Healthcare Service. BOE's products are widely used in a broad spectrum of applications such as mobile phone, tablet, notebook, monitor, TV, vehicle display, digital information display, healthcare, finance, and wearable devices.
More specifically, the company notes that their OLED displays are underpinned by their proprietary advanced Super Dimension Switch technology and characterized by ultra-high definition, ultra-slim bezel, high contrast-ratio, ultra thinness, integrated touch solution, great energy efficiency, and environmental friendliness.
Today Bloomberg reports that "Apple's been testing BOE's active-matrix organic light-emitting diode screens for months but hasn't decided if it'll add the Chinese company to its roster of suppliers, one of the people said, asking not to be named talking about private negotiations. BOE, one of the country's largest screen makers, is spending close to 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) building two AMOLED plants in the southwestern province of Sichuan in anticipation of future business. Talks are at an early stage and it's unlikely to supply the next iPhone, but BOE is banking on outfitting the one in 2018 or later, the person said.
If BOE is selected for OLED, it will become the first known future supplier of the next-generation screens to Apple outside of South Korea and Japan -- a triumph for a Beijing-based company best known for computer and TV displays. The U.S. company is exploring alternatives to address a global shortage of OLED displays as it prepares to adopt the sharper, more power-efficient technology for its next iPhones, catching up with rivals such as Samsung and Huawei Technologies Co." For more on this, read the full Bloomberg report here.
The fact that Apple is going to need more than 160 million OLED displays may be a hint that Apple is looking to bring OLED to either more iPhone models or that they planning to expand OLED displays to Macs. For now it's an open question.
Other suppliers that are hoping to gain Apple orders for OLED displays in the future include LG and Foxconn/Sharp.
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