Samsung Declines to Manufacture Displays for 2025 iPhone SE 4, Report Reveals

Samsung Declines to Manufacture Displays for 2025 iPhone SE 4, Report Reveals
Samsung has declined to manufacture OLED displays for Apple's 2025 iPhone SE 4, leaving BOE as the main supplier. This shift marks a significant upgrade for the SE series.

In an unexpected turn of events, Samsung has reportedly declined to manufacture the display panels for Apple’s upcoming iPhone SE 4, slated for release in 2025. This decision underscores the complexities and competitive dynamics within the supply chain for Apple’s lower-cost iPhone models, highlighting negotiations and strategic decisions that have significant implications for the production and pricing of future devices.

Key Highlights:

  • The iPhone SE 4, expected to launch in 2025, is anticipated to feature an OLED display, marking a significant shift from the LCD panels used in previous models of the iPhone SE series.
  • In the race to supply these OLED panels, three major companies—Samsung Display, BOE, and Tianma—initially threw their hats into the ring, each proposing different pricing for the panels.
  • Samsung Display offered the lowest price at $30 per panel, followed by BOE at $35 and Tianma at $40, with Apple reportedly countering at $20 in a bid to lower costs further.
  • Despite offering the lowest price, Samsung eventually stepped back from negotiations, leaving China’s BOE to take over the production of the panels for the iPhone SE 4.

The Shift to OLED: The introduction of OLED displays in the iPhone SE 4 represents a notable upgrade from the LCD panels traditionally used in the SE series. These OLED panels are expected to be the same units used in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, featuring a 6.1-inch display size with a resolution of 2,532 x 1,170 pixels and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10. This move aligns with Apple’s broader strategy to enhance display quality across its product lineup while also incorporating recycled materials to reduce manufacturing costs.

Supplier Dynamics: The withdrawal of Samsung from the supplier list for the iPhone SE 4’s OLED displays underscores the competitive and often complex negotiations that occur behind the scenes in Apple’s supply chain. Samsung’s decision was influenced by its inability to reach an agreement with Apple on the price of the displays. Meanwhile, BOE’s stepping in as the primary supplier highlights the shifting landscape of display technology suppliers for Apple, with BOE looking to secure a significant order to compensate for previous losses in supplying displays for the iPhone 15 series.

Implications for Apple and the Industry: Samsung’s decision to not manufacture displays for the iPhone SE 4 could have broader implications for the industry, affecting supply chain dynamics, production costs, and potentially the retail price of the upcoming device. It also reflects the strategic decisions companies make in balancing their portfolios and choosing which projects to pursue based on profitability, capacity, and long-term business relationships.

This development comes at a time when Apple is pushing to enhance the specifications of its entry-level iPhone SE model, aiming to offer consumers a high-quality product at a more accessible price point. The inclusion of OLED technology, along with the anticipated improvements in performance and features, is expected to make the iPhone SE 4 a compelling option for users seeking the latest technology without the premium price tag of flagship models.

As the 2025 launch date for the iPhone SE 4 approaches, all eyes will be on Apple and its supply chain partners to see how these strategic decisions unfold and impact the final product. The transition to OLED displays for the SE series signifies Apple’s ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability, even within its more budget-friendly offerings​.