Samsung to buy OLED panels from BOE for the first time
Apparently, it makes more financial sense for Samsung Electronics to get panels from BOE because they are cheaper than those made by the chaebol's own display wing.
This insight comes from display industry insider Ross Young, who adds that Samsung Display wants to prioritize the production of higher-end panels that are used for premium smartphones like the company's own Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro.
Because BOE has so much capacity, lost their largest customer in Huawei and Samsung Display wants to focus more on higher-end panels. So, BOE should win some low-end business at Samsung with flexible.— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) March 22, 2021
Although Samsung Display is ahead of BOE in quality and scale of manufacturing, it is concerned about a possible reduction in profitability and does not want to engage in a price war with BOE.
For BOE, this is an opportunity to compensate for some of the business lost because of the US sanctions on Huawei, which was a key customer. Huawei, which was not too long ago the world's second-largest smartphone maker, has seen sales take a nosedive and the situation is unlikely to improve. The company is now considering dabbling in new areas like livestock farming.
M series smartphones with BOE-made flexible OLED panels will likely be released in the second half of the year. Production is set to begin in July.
Before this, Samsung Display was the sole supplier of flexible OLEDs for Samsung Electronics.
BOE is making big strides this year
BOE reportedly also entered Apple's supply chain for the iPhone 12 late last year after initially failing quality tests. The Chinese company currently only makes panels for a small proportion of the models and rumor has it that it has set up a new facility exclusively for Apple to make OLED samples for this year's iPhones.