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Apple Supplier Samsung Electro-Mechanics confirms it is exiting the RFP-Circuit Board business, forcing Apple to shift suppliers

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Last Friday Apple supplier Samsung Electro-Mechanics officially stated that it was ending its rigid flexible printed circuit board (RFPCB) business. It has been manufacturing the boards at its factory in Vietnam.


RFPCB is used to connect the OLED panel with the main board. It has flexible and rigid characteristics, which makes product design easier and the sending of electric signals faster.


Samsung Electro-Mechanics’ main customer for the board has been Apple by a wide factor.  More specifically, Apple accounted for around 300 billion won (US$253 million) of its sales per year from the business, while Chinese customers and Samsung Electronics combined only accounted for 100 billion won (US$84 million) per year.


Samsung Electro-Mechanics had been seeing losses of around 50 billion won (US$42 million) per year from the business.


Although it remains to be seen who will take over the orders from Apple, Samsung Electro Mechanics must have provided Apple with a notice months ago so at to give them time to fill the component gap.


According to The Elec, BH and Youngpoong Electronics, which already supplies RFPCB to Cupertino, will likely take over the order – though Apple has reportedly requested that Samsung Electro-Mechanics supply its boards up to this year.


For the iPhone 13 series, BH accounted for mid-50% of the board supply, while Samsung Electro-Mechanics accounted for 30% and Youngpoong Electronics mid-10%. Youngpoong Electronics’ affiliate Interflex could also reenter Apple’s RFPCB supply chain.


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