Apple may expand its supplier list for OLED panels to include BOE Technology on concerns that Japan’s recent restrictions on exports of fluorinated polyimides to Korea might dampen the production of OLED panels at Samsung Display, according to a China-based tech.qq.com report.
Fluorine polyimides are used in the production of OLED screens for TVs and smartphones. Japan also tightened shipments of photoresist and hydrogen fluoride to Korea. The two materials are used for making semiconductors.
Samsung’s production of its foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, has also been delayed as Japan has also imposed restrictions on exports of its colorless polyimide (CPI) films, a key material for making flexible OLED screens, the report added.
Given that Samsung currently accounts for over 90% of the global small- and medium-sized OLED panel market and LG Display for over 95% of the large-size OLED TV screen segment, a disruption in OLED panel production at the two Korean firms will cause correspondent impacts on shipments of downstream end-device makers, added the report.
Some industry sources also indicated earlier that BOE is scheduled to kick off commercial operations of its B11 fab at the end of 2019 and B12 fab in 2020 focusing on production of flexible OLED panels, adding that BOE’s OLED panels have entered Huawei’s supply chain, demonstrating the technology progress at BOE.―Digitimes