Chinese display giant BOE will reattempt to supply Apple its OLED panels starting this month, TheElec has learned.
If BOE succeeds, it will be able to supply OLED panels for refurbished iPhone 12 smartphones.
The company failed to clinch a deal earlier this year due to low yield rates at its factories.
BOE is attempting to win Apple’s order this time through its B7 factory in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. It previously attempted to win an order through its B11 factory in the same province.
B7 began operations in 2017 and have relatively more stable yield rates. B11, meanwhile, which went live in 2019, had a yield rate of around 20% in the first half of 2020, people familiar with the matter said.
At B11, the yield rate for the fab process __ in which light emitting layer, encapsulation and touch film are stacked on the thin film transistor __ was especially low.
But module process yield rate at B11 was higher than B7, they said. B11’s overall yield rate has improved compared to the first half of 2020 but still lacks behind B7’s, they added.
Apple’s review will wrap up near the end of the year. BOE’s samples and commercial production line all must be approved for a supply deal.
BOE will also need another review to supply OLED panels for new iPhones launching next year.
Rivals Samsung Display and LG Display has already begun development of OLED panels that will be used in next year’s iPhones.
B11 and B7 lines of BOE are rivals. B11 is headed by a Taiwanese national while B7 is run by a Chinese national. BOE said B11 produced 4 million OLED panels out of the company’s total of 16 million units for the first half of 2020.
Apple is giving LG Display and BOE more opportunities to reduce its reliance on Samsung Display.