The Chinese company Beijing Oriental Electronics (BOE, for its acronym in English) will be the supplier of displays for the rumored iPhone SE 4according to a report from The Elecleaving out the Samsung or LG panels.
This last report, as the report of The Vergecomes as Apple is reportedly working on its own display technology and trying to lessen reliance on its main display maker and rival Samsung.
However, the Cupertino company is not having the best of relations with BOE. In 2020, some of their iPhone 12 screens failed quality tests. Later, it detected that BOE made unapproved changes to the design of the iPhone 13 screen.
Although BOE eventually struck a deal to make the 6.1-inch OLED for the iPhone 14, the company has reportedly been unable to produce iPhone 15 displays to Apple’s specifications. Instead, it looks like the Chinese firm will supply 6.1-inch OLED panels for the next budget iPhone, the SE 4.
Good and bad news
While the SE will likely use an older OLED design, that’s good news, so BOE can use existing parts inventory.
The bad news is that Apple has been trying to reduce its reliance on Samsung for displays and still needs BOE as well.. A new report from The Information details how much power the South Korean company has over Apple as one of the only manufacturers capable of mass-producing high-end OLEDs to its specifications.
Samsung Display reportedly gets away with things no other Apple component supplier would dream of, like not allowing Cupertino engineers into its facility and refusing to replace a supply of displays when a minor fault is identified.
As much as Apple would like to cut ties with Samsung, it’s likely to be quite a few years before that becomes a reality.