South Korea board maker BH will be supplying over half of the rigid flexible printed circuit boards (RFPCB) used in Apple’s new iPhones launching later this year, TheElec has learned.
BH will be supplying mid-50% of the board used, while Samsung Electro-Mechanics will supply 30%. Youngpoong Electronics will supply mid-10% of the boards used.
RFPCB is used to connect the main board to the OLED panel. Being rigid and flexible allows vendors such as Apple to design their phones easier. The boards also sends electric signals faster. It is more expensive component than FPCB.
BH is supplying more to Apple this year as Samsung Electro-Mechanics is planning to exit the business within the year.
This means BH could be supplying up to 70% of the RFPCB used in Apple’s iPhones launching in 2022. Youngpoong could also see its supply increase by up to 30%.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics is planning to produce RFPCB only up to November. The company will likely begin selling its RFPCB operation at Vietnam starting in August. The sales could be divided into over two stages.
Other PCB makers could enter Apple’s supply chain from the vacuum left by Samsung Electro-Mechanics as well. Interflex previously supplied RFPCB to Apple for iPhone X’s OLED panel and touch screen panel back in 2017. But the Korean firm was removed from Cupertino’s suppliers list due to defects in its boards.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics CEO Kyung Kye-hyun, who was named to the top post last year, had ordered the company review exiting its RFPCB and wireless communication module businesses. The RFPCB has been losing 50 billion won a year. Samsung Electro-Mechanics originally planned to exit the business last year but has extended its production.
The company’s sales of its wireless communication module business also fell through in May. Chemtronics called off the deal, citing uncertainties.