The development will help Apple to scale back dependence on Samsung Electronics. Apple will decide by year-end whether to take BOE on as a provider of organic light-emitting displays (OLED).
Apple is the third-largest smartphone manufacturer on the planet in terms of shipments. The US-based Apple is behind market leader Samsung and Huawei.
The iPhone manufacturer is aggressively testing BOE’s flexible OLED, raising the likelihood that Apple may for the first time source this superior display know-how from China, the report said.
The OLED market is expected to rise from last year’s $25.5 billion to over $30 billion this year, based on IDTechEx Analysis.
U.S. and Japanese display manufacturers are unable to provide high-quality OLED know-how to Apple.
Apple buys OLEDs from Samsung Electronics, which dominates the premium display market worldwide with over 90 % share, and LG Display.
The entry of BOE as an OLED supplier may threaten Samsung Display’s position and provide Apple more bargaining power to win price cuts from the South Korean providers. BOE also supplies the superior displays to Huawei Technologies Mate X foldable smartphone, a competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold.
Apple is testing BOE’s flexible OLED displays from the Chinese firm’s hub in the Sichuan Province city of Chengdu. BOE is also constructing another center in Sichuan Province, which might be allocated to Apple if it places orders. Apple is anticipated to provide at least two iPhones with OLED screens in 2020.
The cost of the OLED display rose to $120 the next year on the iPhone XS Max because of the bigger display. BOE-made OLED screens might be 20% cheaper than Samsung’s products.