Printed circuit board (PCB) maker YP Electronics' hope to supply its rigid flexible PCB (RFPCB) for Apple’s iPhone 12 is being dashed from Cupertino’s recent change in OLED component, people familiar with the matter told TheElec.
Apple has has divided the flexible PCB (FPCB) it plans to connect with iPhone 12’s OLED display mainboard into two different kinds, they said.
The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will use RFPCB, while for the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro it will use multiplex PCB, which are cheaper and lower-tiered than RFPCB.
YP Electronics’ main client LG Display will be supplying OLED panel for iPhone 12 Max which will use multiplex __ this means the Korean PCB maker won’t getting orders. LG is instead getting FPCB from Japan’s Fujikura instead.
YP Electronics could, possibly, supply its RFPCB to Samsung Display, which will be needing them for its OLED supply to Apple. However, Samsung has already been buying them stably from Samsung Electro-Mechanics and BH stably, which means there is little room for more orders for YP Electronics.
LG Display is expecting to move 20 million OLED panels to Apple, four times the amount it shipped last year. YP Electronics has provided its RFPCB to LG for the OLEDs used for iPhone 11.
Apple’s change of plan to a lower-tier PCB is likely due to the prevalence of defects from LG’s OLED shipment last year, the people said. Changing to multiplex is less costly and makes it easier for LG to make OLED panels.
The setback by YP Electronics will likely bring back painful memories for YP Group. The group’s other affiliate, Interflex, supplied RFPCB for OLED and RFPCB for the touch screen panel (TSP) in Apple’s iPhone X. But it was removed from Apple’s vendor list due to the prevalence of screen shutdowns cause by faulty TSPs.
Due this problem, Cupertino reverted back to using multiplex for the TSP on its iPhone launched in 2018.
However, YP Electronics was still supplying its FPCB for the LCD panels on iPads, the people said.