An iPhone 8 supplier reportedly bails, forcing Apple to spend millions on OLED PCB tools

An iPhone 8 supplier reportedly bails, forcing Apple to spend millions on OLED PCB tools
Apple may not be dealing directly with manufacturing its own phones, but it does not shy away from purchasing production equipment for its suppliers if the situation calls for it, no matter how complex or expensive it is. They did it with the unique machines that polished the glass iPhones, then again by fronting display makers, and now, apparently, they are doing it with the tools to make the rigid-flexible printed circuit boards (RFPCB) needed for the upcoming OLED iPhone 8.

Last we heard about that part, Samsung had allegedly placed an order for 70 million FPCBs with two of its suppliers, ready to ship them to the factory in Vietnam where they were likely to be used for connecting the OLED panels destined for Apple's iPhone 8. Apple has secured a third supplier from Taiwan as well, says a new report, but the company got cold feet in the last minute due to troubles with scaling production with the required quality by Apple. 

After the Taiwanese bailed out, Apple started buying the expensive equipment for the boards in order to deliver it to the two Korean companies left in the game, and cover any shortages that may arise in the supply chain. "To fill the loss, Apple is supporting the other two suppliers, both Korean, to beef up production," tips the source. The machines are worth tens of millions, and Apple is reportedly leasing them to Samsung Display's suppliers that are tasked with making the RFPCB, which are trickier to produce than the conventional ones. 

The iPhone 8's OLED panel and its cutout may end up costing $70 apiece, which is almost double the iPhone 7 panel, and might explain the rumored $1000 starting price for Apple's anniversary edition flagship. All these unforeseen troubles, however, are what may be leading to the rumored bottleneck in the iPhone 8 availability, at least in the first weeks after release.

source: The Investor

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51 Comments

1. thetruthhasbeenspoken

Posts: 83; Member since: May 02, 2017

Apple needs Samsung more than Samsung needs Apple.

4. Iodine

Posts: 1493; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Who cares for them.

6. CodingEthos

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 12, 2016

Lol, your fanboyism is showing. Who's loaning the machines to Samsun'g suppliers? It's not like Samsung is providing either the machines or the actual manufacturing...

8. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

You just burned him. Lol

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7433; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple has a certain thing they need done to Samsung's displays in the first place. Like the cutout on the top of Samsung's AMOLED displays. So the rumors are true, they will have a bit of screen on either side of the display with the cutout for the cameras and other sensors. No burning here Bankz, just Apple burning themselves, and indirectly burning a hole in their customers pockets. Lol.

26. apple-rulz

Posts: 2186; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Your reply is stupid and doesn't make any sense. Gee, Samsung needs Googles OS, so Samsung is burning themselves, and indirectly burning a hole in their customers pockets. Lol. Cool, now I'm a retard like sgodsell, LOL!

34. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Android is free so, your post is actually the most stupid!

38. apple-rulz

Posts: 2186; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Samsung HAS to pay a licensing fee to Google to use the android OS. You are so stupid, stop commenting and divorce your wife so she has a chance to find actual happiness.

39. AxelFoley unregistered

Oh really. How much?

40. AxelFoley unregistered

Okay. I thought you'd just go back into your hole rather than answer the question. So, here you go. 1. "Google does not charge for its Android software" - The Guardian 2. The Guardian retracted a story saying 3rd parties charge OEMs $40-75K for Google services (gmail/play) "However, The Guardian has since amended its story, removing all references to the supposed licensing costs. Google also told 9to5Google that the story was inaccurate."http://www.greenbot.com/article/2090527/no-android-phone-makers-dont-pay-google-licensing-fees-to-use-google-apps.html So, even if true (which it isn't), the fee was $75k max per the story, not to Google, but to a 3rd party. Look at the $80 android tablets on Amazon, how much is the "licensing fee" for them? Apple fans, making up stuff everyday of the week. At least that guy has a wife, I'd have to assume you only have an imaginary boyfriend with the way you like to make things up. Come with facts, or please just shut up.

41. apple-rulz

Posts: 2186; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Please walk into fast moving traffic, you'll be doing yourself a favor; retard there is something called Google Mobile Services that all android devices are REQUIRED to pay a licensing fee for. Yes, that includes Samsung. Now you know, but you're still an idiot, and I can't help with that.

42. AxelFoley unregistered

That was quick. "Add value, without adding cost While the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) provides common, device-level functionalities such as email and calling, GMS is not part of AOSP. GMS is only available through a license with Google and delivers a holistic set of popular apps and cloud-based services. Best of all, installing GMS on your devices requires NO LICENSE FEE." https://www.android.com/gms/

45. apple-rulz

Posts: 2186; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Damn you're too pathetic to even research correctly. Do this retard, do a search for the hidden costs of android licensing. You'll run across that same GMS I mentioned earlier. Now notice how you'll find that any manufacturer that wants to put android on their device MUST pay a licensing fee to an 'ostensibly' third party that will verify the device can correctly run GSM. This MUST happen. Even the Note 8 will have paid this 'third party' for GSM licensing to ensure compatibility. Idiots like you give android a bad name.

46. AxelFoley unregistered

https://www.android.com/gms/ I've got a link from Google's OFFICIAL and LEGALLY BINDING Android page. You've got BS from your keyboard. Apple-Rulz's @$$$ as a source is proven BS. Come with facts, or STFU.

50. apple-rulz

Posts: 2186; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

That's not an OFFICIAL and LEGALLY BINDING Android page. It's just an advertisement to get dolts like you hyped up into thinking you know what you're talking about. I told you what to search for to help you learn, but you refuse. I'm done with you, you're hopeless and an embarrassment to yourself. Have a good day.

54. AxelFoley unregistered

Advertising, when done through the media (internet web site), when false, is known as "false advertisi.......", Nevermind, your denial in what is right in your face only rivals those in the flat earth society. What's really odd is, you are quoted as saying the FPS unDer the screen is a guaranteed lock. You've never seen the iPhone 7s, more rumors have denied it than agreed with it, yet you call something you haven't seen a lock and deny what is right in your face. Cocaine is a helluva drug.

47. AxelFoley unregistered

And notice how I already gave you the link to the article that retracts the story from the Guardian on licensing fees to 3rd parties. Dude, this is all in black and white. No amount of kindergarten name-calling you do is going to change what is right in your face on this thread. Your eyes aren't lying to you. 2+2=4. Stop trying to say it's 5.

44. AxelFoley unregistered

Come back, Nikki, come back!

20. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

And apple will turn around and BURN those same suppliers like it did in the sapphire glass debacle, like its done with its faithful partner Imagination technologies. It seems the small contractors are waking up to Apples tactics and will not just jump at the chance anymore to work with Apple as it will cost them dearly in the long run. I don't blame Apple because its business and you do anything to dominate in business but you also have to take the consequences and one of them is the reputation that Apple has generated with small contractors. Its reminiscent of the old Microsoft Tatics

28. BuffaloSouce unregistered

You're so sad

11. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Either way (with or without producing them) Samsung is fine thanks to their diversified businesses model. For Apple, more than 60% of the revenues and profits are dependent on those phones and their success. If it's heavily delayed or doesn't meet demands of the potential customer base, their business model collapses.

33. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But who's makign the displays to begin with. The reason Samsung isnt making this connector is because APple wants some special part made that was not the original part Samsung offered. If APple didnt offer Samsung enough money to make the part custom, then Samsung tasked one of its partners to make the part. Samsung still gets some money for providing the bsuienss to the partners. Apple had no choice but to loan the machines after buying them, because of the yield need. So its Apple who is sucking it up and doing what it is needed. The suppliers already have machines making the part. The issue is, a 3rd supplier quit and there is no other option so Apple bough more machines to give the suppliers so they can meet the extra load that is needed. So maybe you should learn now to read you disgusting troll.

24. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

What the point. Samsung would be dying to have all those orders from Apple

27. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Dying? Samsung is the least to die for those orders from Apple, considering that there are much smaller companies than Samsung who are dying for those orders as well. Besides, Apple would be nothing without those companies.

2. Iodine

Posts: 1493; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Well, just make enough of them... and somebody please stop those anoying leaks.

3. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1831; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Probably a fake story to build false hype around fake shortages during the launch period, causing ifanboys and ifangirls to blindly get a hyped phone that doesn't have the proper 2017 specs...

5. Iodine

Posts: 1493; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

No way to confirm what's true with those "leaks". But it could very well happen that this "nonproperspeced@2017" phone is getting a better screen to body ratio than those so called "bezzelles innovationss" that came up with wide displays and rounded corners a few months before. That is good isn't it ?

7. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

"hyped phone that doesnt have the proper 2017 specs" lol. So, a 5.8" oled screen, AR, stereo speakers, 3d sensing, water resistant, underscreen fps, 256gb storage, dual cameras, 3d touch A11 processor aren't proper specs for 2017? I'm even pretty sure most 2018 flagships wont have those either. When it comes to hardware the iphone 8 will blow everything away, even by next years standard. Btw, what are the proper specs the iphone will be missing? Just curious.

9. maherk

Posts: 6942; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

So you're back into confirming the underscreen fps? Lol

23. AxelFoley unregistered

He did drop wireless charging this time. His predictions are guaranteed , probably, certainly, maybe, definitely, fifty-fifty a lock, according to his sources.

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