It’s unclear from the Korean-language report when the tests where carried out and whether they will have any material impact on the so-called iPhone 12’s production and launch. Apple was said to be “aggressively testing” flexible OLED screens made by BOE as early as August last year.
BOE is the world’s top producer of large liquid crystal screens and already makes liquid crystal displays for Apple’s iPads and MacBooks, but the firm has had its sights set firmly on the expanding OLED panel market, which is growing year on year.
Despite Apple’s focus on diversifying its suppliers for various components in its products, Samsung Display is still expected to provide nearly 80 percent of the OLED displays used in this year’s “iPhone 12” lineup.
Samsung was the exclusive display supplier for Apple’s first OLED iPhone, the iPhone X back in 2017. LG came on board the following year as a second supplier, and BOE is reportedly entering Apple’s supply chain for the 2020 phones as Apple goes all-OLED in its flagship lineup for the first time.
Apple plans to release four “iPhone 12” models with OLED displays in the fall, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. All of the devices are expected to support 5G and they may sport a new design that includes more of a flat edged metal frame like the iPad Pro or iPhone 4.
BOE has reportedly partnered with touch panel maker General Interface Solutions as both companies aim to become suppliers of the rumored 5.4-inch iPhone.