Apple is always looking to diversify its suppliers; this makes it possible to improve existing technologies and make them cheaper. This time, TCL subsidiary CSOT wants to enter Apple’s LCD supply chain for upcoming Macs and iPads.
According to a report by The elect, TCL Chairman Li Dongsheng is expected to visit Apple Park very soon. He wants to win orders for the supply of LCD panels made by CSOT for iPads and MacBooks.
The publication says CSOT is a “fierce competitor” to BOE in the global LCD market, but the company is ahead of CSOT in LCD panels for laptops, tablets and monitors as well as OLED technology for smartphones.
BOE, as you probably know, has been a third-party display supplier for Apple’s older LCD iPhones for years, but only started making OLED panels for Apple starting with the iPhone 12. was on track to take orders of 30-40M iPhones this year. It will also be responsible for around five million units of iPhone 14 OLED panels.
Not only that, but BOE also supplies Apple with LCD panels for MacBooks and iPads. Analyst firm Omdia says the Chinese company will be the largest supplier of LCD panels for iPads this year.
Here’s what else The elect reports:
CSOT also formed a team in the first half to look into building an OLED production line for iPhones. Besides BOE, CSOT’s expansion plan will also threaten South Korean display maker LG Display, which supplies Apple with LCD panels for high-end devices.
LG Display is expected to supply 14.8 million LCD screens to Apple for MacBooks this year, according to Omdia, bringing its share in this specific supply chain to 55%. Having another competitor in the supply chain like CSOT could add pressure on LG Display to reduce unit prices.
If things turn out good for TCL, CSOT could start producing LCD panels in 2023 or 2024 for the new MacBooks and iPads.
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