A Supply Chain Rumor Claims Apple will use Multi-Flexible Printed Circuit Boards for next-gen iPhone Models
A Korean report published today claims that Apple has reportedly decided to cut down on the rigid flexible printed circuit board for upcoming new OLED iPhones, replacing the part with multi-flexible printed circuit boards.
RFPCB is a key part of the iPhone X that connects chips with the display panel. The new OLED iPhones scheduled for debut in September are likely to use the multi-FPCB for the touch-screen panel, largely due to price and production benefits.
Currently, three Korean PCB makers -- LG Innotek, Interflex and Youngpoong Electronics -- supply RFPCBs. But Apple had previously faced a myriad of problems involving RFPCBs. Before the iPhone X was launched, a Taiwanese supplier dropped out after failing to meet the quality criteria.
A faulty connection in the RFPCB module was also cited as the key reason behind the so-called 'frozen' iPhone X whose OLED screen would become unresponsive or inaccurate in cold weather. Apple launched a large-scale probe, which led to a temporary suspension at some parts plants.
It remains to be seen whether Apple will get its current suppliers to switch to multi-FPCBs or increase the supplies, or replace the suppliers altogether.
Multi-FPCB reportedly supports a degree of design freedom in mobile phones. Whether Apple is switching to these new boards for price alone or for purposes of design freedom won't be known until we see Apple's next-gen iPhone models.
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