[ET NEWS] Apple is seeking to diversify parts suppliers for its OLED iPhone lineup this year, launching two new models adding to the current iPhone X, according to industry sources on Jan. 26.
The two news models come with 5.85-inch and 6.46-inch screens, along with the 5.8-inch iPhone X, the first OLED iPhone launched last year. With the new addition, the California-based company has also started seeking new panel and battery suppliers.
The rigid flexible printed circuit board, more widely called RFPCB, is the key to the OLED screen as it connects chips with parts such as display screen and camera.
Currently, three Korean suppliers BH, Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Interflex provide the part. Sources say Apple could select one or two more suppliers to secure increased parts demand.
Thus far, Samsung Display has been the sole supplier for the OLED screen. From this year, its crosstown rival LG Display is expected to supply the largest 6.46-inch screen.
Considering the RFPCB and the panel are produced for a model, the new RFPCB supplier is likely to work with LG Display.
The brand new “L-shaped” battery will be produced by LG Chem, the battery-making unit of LG Group. The battery comes in a single cell and has increased capacity over current rectangle iPhone batteries with two battery cells.
The tentative production plans have also been informed, sources said. Production of the RFPCB will start in May and the panel production will start in June. The new iPhone launch is expected to come in the latter half of this year like previous years.
By Yoon Kun-il (benyun@etnews) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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