iPhone SE 4 — Apple’s fourth generation ‘Special Edition’ smartphone — is likely to be equipped with an OLED screen manufactured by a Chinese firm, according to a report. The iPhone maker was reportedly negotiating the cost of the display on the upcoming midrange smartphone with three suppliers — one is said to have dropped out over the cost of each display. There’s currently no word from Apple on plans to launch a new iPhone SE model — the current model was unveiled in 2022.

A ZDNet Korea report (in Korean) citing industry sources states that Chinese electronic component manufacturer BOE (Jingdongfang) has won the bid to manufacture the OLED screen for the purported iPhone SE 4. As per the report, Apple was accepting bids from three suppliers — Samsung, BOE, and Tianma — for the successor to the iPhone SE (2022) model.

BOE is likely to provide the majority of displays for the iPhone SE 4, according to the publication, after Samsung dropped out of the race over business feasibility. Samsung Display reportedly quoted a price of $35 to $40 (roughly Rs. 2,900 to Rs. 3,300) for each display unit, while the Chinese companies sought $30 (roughly Rs. 2,500). The iPhone SE 4 is tipped to adopt a design similar to the iPhone 14 with support for Face ID.

Apple reportedly offered a considerably lower price of $25 (roughly Rs. 2,100), prompting Samsung to end the discussions in the middle of March. The South Korean tech conglomerate was not very keen on producing the displays for the midrange phone from the outset, due to the lower pricing issues, the source told the publication.

Among the two Chinese suppliers, only BOE appears to be the firm capable of producing display units for the iPhone SE 4, and is reportedly ready to supply the component for Apple’s more affordable smartphone. Meanwhile, Tianma has been unable to meet Apple’s technical requirements for the display of the iPhone SE 4, which is rumoured to make its debut in 2025.

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