BOE is Determined to break the Samsung-LG Display Monopoly on OLED Displays for Future Apple Devices
In early January 2023, Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that BOE had received orders for the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus and was likely to gain up to 70% of Apple's iPhone 16 display business overtaking Samsung. Samsung legal went into high gear to ensure that this development would not materialize by starting with a complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission about Chinese OLED makers. The Elec had claimed that the threat was really aimed at BOE and a message to Apple to not proceed with a plan to replace them as the leader of iPhone displays. While only time will tell how that will play out in the months ahead, BOE is determined to break the Samsung-LG monopoly on OLED displays for Apple and is pushing forward on another front: OLED displays for future iPad and MacBooks.
According to The Elec, Gao Wenbao, CEO of China BOE's display division, is scheduled to visit Canon in Japan later this month. Canon will be discussing the production of 8th generation organic light emitting diode (OLED) deposition equipment for Apple devices with LG Display, Samsung Display and BOE. 8th generation OLED for IT is a technology for mass production of medium-sized OLED products such as notebooks.
At present, Samsung may be first to receive the new equipment, with LG second and BOE third with receipt of equipment in Q4 2024. Yet that's not set in stone at present. The order of who will get the equipment first could be disrupted if Canon hears from Apple that they want BOE to receive the equipment first.
The Elec believes that BOE Display's CEO will request that their company be prioritized in the existing slot acquisition ranking. Yet, it may boil down to what Apple decides is going to be their leading OLED display maker for future MacBook and iPads.
Panel makers are expected to make the final decision on the technology method and investment considering the OLED price they can receive from Apple and the amount of profit they can leave behind.
The OLED panel of the OLED iPad, which is expected to be released for the first time next year, is made in the 6th generation line of Samsung Display and LG Display. The evaporator for 8th generation OLED for IT, which Korean and foreign panel makers are currently discussing with Canon, can be brought in early next year at the earliest, so the start of mass production will be later than that. In the 8th generation OLED line for IT, there is a high possibility that it will focus on notebook OLED rather than tablet. For more, read the full report by The Elec.
With Samsung legal waving OLED-related patents in BOE's face, It's unknown whether BOE will back down in Challenging Samsung for Apple's business or double down with the help of the Chinese Government in an attempt to break Samsung's stranglehold on Apple's OLED business.