Samsung to sell business that made a specific iPhone component1
Apple does depend on Samsung to supply it with certain iPhone components although Apple has made a point of trying to reduce its reliance on its rival over the last few years. But there is a business that Samsung plans on exiting over the next year forcing Apple to change the mix of suppliers for rigid flexible printed circuit boards (RFPCB). According to TheElec (via 9to5Mac), Samsung will provide Apple with only 30% of the RFPCB that will be used on this year's iPhone 13 series.
As a result of Samsung's decision to stop production of the component in November, South Korea's BH will deliver approximately 55% of the RFPCB ordered by Apple with Youngpoong Electronics expected to chip in roughly 15% of the total. In 2022, BH could be called on to supply Apple with 70% of its RFPCB needs with the remaining 30% coming from Youngpoong Electronics.
The component is used to connect the main circuit board with the phone's OLED panel. Being rigid and flexible might sound like a contradiction, but the combination helps companies like Apple more easily design their products. Compared to FPCB, RFPCB sends electric signals faster but is more expensive.
Samsung's RFPCB production facilities are located in Vietnam and the company could start the sales process in August. Samsung is apparently planning to sell the unit in two parts. The business has been losing 50 billion won ($44.2 million USD) a year. Samsung originally planned on disposing of the division last year but decided to keep production going for another year.