iPhone 12 Drama: Is There an OLED Screen Issue?

Stephen Silver

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For most of the last few months, numerous reports have come from the supply chain in Asia about this year’s lineup of iPhones, and whether the coronavirus pandemic will cause it to be delayed.

A report last month from Display Supply Chain Consultants stated that Apple would produce four iPhone models for 2020. Three of the four, as usual, will use panels from Samsung, the global leader in smartphone display panels. But the fourth, per that report, would source its OLED panels from LG Display and BOE Technology.

However, on June 11, another report stated that there was trouble with BOE’s panels, and that those panels had failed to pass a test at the quality assessment stage. BOE also works with Apple on iPad and MacBook panels.

It wasn’t clear at the time, per that report, whether it meant BOE would be out completely as a supplier for the latest iPhones, although it was not expected to cause a delay in the product.

Now, a report from Digitimes says that the OLED panels from BOE will not be part of this year’s iPhone line, at least not at the start.

“BOE Technology will not be in the supplier list for the first batch of panel shipments for Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup as the Chinese maker has failed to secure Apple’s validation for its OLED screens, according to sources familiar with the matter,” the Digitimes report said.

The Display Supply Chain Consultants report had stated that Apple was working on four phones for 2020: The 5.4” “iPhone 12,” the 6.06” “iPhone 12 Max,” the 6.1” “iPhone 12 Pro,” and the 6.67” “iPhone 12 Pro Max.” The “iPhone 12 Max” is the one that was reportedly going to include the LG and BOE panels.

Apple typically does not announce the names of their devices until the moment they’re officially revealed. Apple, for more than a decade, has announced new iPhones in the early fall.

Another analyst report this week, echoing previous ones, stated that Apple will not include a charger or earbuds in the packaging for this year’s iPhones.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.

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