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In a groundbreaking development, mass production of iPhone 15 displays has commenced today, following Apple’s approval of Samsung Display as the main supplier. While the news marks a significant milestone for the tech giant, there are reports of a hiccup in the production process related to the periscope lens for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple, known for its secretive product development approach, adheres to industry norms once the prototyping phase is completed. The following are the four crucial stages leading to the final product:
- Engineering Validation Test (EVT)
- Design Validation Test (DVT)
- Product Validation Test (PVT)
- Mass Production
According to a report by The Elec, Apple has successfully completed the final PVT stage for all four iPhone 15 displays, greenlighting Samsung to proceed with full mass production. Among the three intended suppliers for iPhone 15 screens, Samsung leads the pack, while LG has received conditional approval and is expected to resolve the conditions shortly.
Chinese display supplier BOE, however, is facing challenges, and its iPhone 15 display orders have been put on hold by Apple. Initial struggles with the cutouts for the Dynamic Island led to issues with light leakage around the slot and low yields, preventing BOE from transitioning to mass production. As a result, Samsung has stepped in to pick up the slack, and BOE may not be producing any displays for the iPhone 15 launch, with potential orders deferred to the following year. Furthermore, BOE is contending with Samsung’s patent infringement concerns and seeking the invalidation of several patents.
In another setback, the production of the periscope lens module for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, utilizing a Sony sensor within an LG Innotek module, is proving to be more challenging than anticipated. The yield rates for the Folded Zoom and Actuator components provided by Sony’s image sensor supplier, LG Innotek, are falling short of expectations.
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The periscope lens employs a prism to bend light at a 90-degree angle, allowing most lens elements to be vertically situated within the iPhone casing. This innovative design enables a longer telephoto lens without protruding further from the case. However, the current manufacturing difficulties might impact the expected optical zoom range, which was anticipated to be in the 5x to 10x range compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s maximum 3x range.