When it comes to the shortlist of suppliers providing Apple with displays destined for this year's iPhone 14 series, Samsung has reportedly just found itself to be the top pick through its Display arm.
According to a report from South Korean news publication ETNews (opens in new tab), “industry insiders” are claiming that Apple has formally approached Samsung Display with an order for approximately 80 million screens, to be supplied in Q3 (July-September) of this year; ahead of the iPhone 14’s expected release this September.
Details of the order corroborate reports that this year’s crop of devices won’t play host to an iPhone 14 Mini (as has featured in the past two generations of iPhone), with only two display sizes intended to serve across four discrete models.
Based on the device lineup previously suggested by reputable leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro will make use of a 6.1-inch panel, meanwhile just under half of the total order is intended to serve the larger iPhone 14 Max and top-end iPhone 14 Pro Max, both of which will feature a 6.7-inch display as Apple seeks to create it best iPhone ever in 2022.
Samsung Display will use two different manufacturing methods for the OLED displays that form this order: LTPS-TFT and LTPO-TFT, with the latter offering greater power efficiency over the former, thought to be headed to the two Pro models in the iPhone 14 family.
The standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will likely use more modest LTPS-TFT technology, which offers lower display refresh rates and a mildly lower quality of display.
Analysis: screening the competition
While 80 million units to a single supplier would mark a huge win for Samsung Display, it’s not a great sign for Apple fans hoping for more affordable iPhones this year.
The more manufacturers there are able to meet Apple’s demands and quality standards, the greater the competition, meaning lower component prices and, in turn, savings that - theoretically - can be passed onto consumers.
In the past, fellow South Korean manufacturer LG Display has often supported Samsung in providing Apple with displays for its iPhones. More recently, however, the two were joined by Chinese supplier, BOE Technology.
BOE has been making displays for Apple since the iPhone 12, although whether or not the California-based company places any orders with BOE for the iPhone 14 is still up in the air.
Apple only recently resumed iPhone 13 display production with BOE, after the Chinese company was found to have cut corners on its manufacturing processes (as reported by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)) in order to reduce costs, without telling the iPhone maker ahead of time.
While BOE’s reinstated position as a parts supplier for the iPhone 13 doesn’t guarantee any involvement in the iPhone 14’s production, according to GSMArena (opens in new tab), Apple is re-evaluating their validity as a potential supplier this week, which could lead to greater competition for Samsung Display's order total and, again, the potential for a more affordable iPhone.