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iPhone 14 supplier could be in trouble — here’s why

An unofficial render of the iPhone 14 Pro from the front and back, in purple
(Image credit: Souta)

As we get closer to the iPhone 14 launch, which we recently learned could take place on September 13, we’re learning more about not just the features and components but who could be making them. 

And one supplier who could wind up on the cutting room floor is BOE. According to the publication The Elec (opens in new tab) out of South Korea, BOE “has yet to receive approval from Apple to manufacture OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone 14 series.”

The Elec says that the firm was earlier caught trying to skimp on the circuit width of the thin film transistors for the OLED screens for the iPhone 13. This was allegedly done to increase the yield rate.

As a result of this controversy, it’s possible that “BOE cold not receive any orders” for the iPhone 14. 

The intrigue gets juicier. According to The Elec, the Chinese company dispatched a C-Level exec and employee to Cupertino to make its case. But the company apparently has not received a clear response. 

The good news is that the iPhone 14 release date timeline does not seem threatened, as Apple could wind up giving its order for 30 million OLED panels that were intended for BOE to Samsung Display and LG Display. 

As for what to expect from the iPhone 14, we anticipate four models, including a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 a new 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max and a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. We’ve heard mixed things about the display refresh rates, but the Pro models should once again have 120Hz ProMotion panels while the regular iPhone 14 series could go as high as 90Hz or stick with 60Hz.

Overall, the iPhone 14 Pro series is tipped for the biggest changes, with the rumors of Apple replacing the notch with a punch hole camera and pill-shaped cutout for Face ID tech. And the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max could be getting a bigger and sharper 48MP main camera, which is probably why early case designs seem to have such huge camera bumps.

There have been rumors that Apple could adopt USB-C charging for the iPhone 14 Pros, but that buzz seems to have died down now that we’ve seen reports that Apple has been testing USB-C iPhone connectivity for its 2023 models

The regular iPhone 14 series could be quite similar to the iPhone 13. In fact, it may feature an identical A15 Bionic chip while simply adding more RAM. But that's not confirmed.

Stay tuned to our iPhone 14 hub and iPhone 14 Pro hub for all the latest leaks and rumors as we get closer to the fall. 

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.