Reality clashes with Apple’s plan to diversify iPhone 14 display manufacturers

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The CEO of UBI Research cautioned at the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) Settlement Seminar in Gangnam, Seoul, that Apple will only receive 20 million iPhone display panels from the Chinese screen maker BOE instead of the 50 million it had hoped for.

Not only will all of the high-priced LTPO OLED screens with a variable refresh rate for the iPhone 14 Pro series go to the duopoly of Samsung and LG, but the majority of the low-priced LTPS screens for the iPhone 14 and 14 Max will also be made by the Korean companies, which charge a fairly hefty premium, with BOE making up the difference.

Lee Choong-hoon predicts that Samsung Display will garner 137.65 million iPhone devices, or two-thirds of the total, of the 238 million units that UBI anticipates Apple to ship this year. Samsung is expected to be followed by LG with 53.15 million units and BOE with only 20 million units.

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Apple’s attempts to move away from the more expensive OLED panel manufacturers have failed, as BOE now has only a 9% share of the iPhone screen supply chain, which is not much higher than last year.

At this time, BOE does not have the technology or production know-how to match Apple’s quality and quantity requirements. The iPhone 13’s display design was altered by BOE due to shortages of component supplies earlier this year, and as a result, Apple halted distribution until BOE made good on its earlier wrongdoings.

It appears that for the time being, only Samsung and, to a lesser extent, LG are able to supply Apple with the OLED screen technology it requires for its high-end iPhones in sufficient quantities and at the required refresh rates, color reproductions, and brightness levels. This, of course, does not preclude Apple from making enviable profit margins.

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