Apple’s supply chain issues persist as iPhone screens hit

It seems hardly a day goes by without fresh news about Apple’s supply chain issues. The recent ones focus on the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns in China, but the global chip shortage continues to bite.

Apple had hoped Chinese display maker BOE would be able to manufacture up to 40 million iPhone displays this year. A shortage of display driver chips saw the target reduced to 30M, but even that is now in doubt…

Background

We have previously described the context of the problem.

The global chip shortage was created by a combination of factors. These include increased demand for technology during the pandemic, COVID-related production disruption, and growing demand for chips from automakers; as cars rely on an increasing number of microprocessor-based units.

The biggest problem isn’t with CPUs and GPUs, but much more mundane chips like display drivers and power management systems. These relatively low-tech chips are used in a large number of devices, including those from Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed that supply constraints have cost Apple $6 billion in each of the past two quarters.

Apple previously asked BOE to ship up to 40 million iPhone screens this year, to complement supplies from Samsung and LG. It was reported earlier this year that a shortage of display drivers made that goal unlikely, but now even 30 million seems optimistic.

Apple’s supply chain issues persist

The Electric reports that BOE’s chip supply position has deteriorated and it is also struggling with yield rates.

BOE is expected to continue to face production issues with iPhone OLED panels due to continued chip shortages, TheElec has learned.

The Chinese display panel maker’s production volume for panels has plummeted since February due to the shortage of display driver ICs, as TheElec reported earlier. The yield rate of panels also appears to be an issue, sources said.

BOE’s production problem due to the situation is expected to continue until at least May, they added. […]

LX Semicon chose to supply LG Display first due to the situation.

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