South Korea's BH to take over more than 50% of iPhone RFPCB production amid Samsung exit

Color Widgets Iphone Hero
Color Widgets Iphone Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • South Korean firm BH is to take over the production of RFPCBs for iPhones after Samsung exited the market.
  • BH will reportedly manufacture more than half of the rigid flexible printed circuit boards.

South Korean outfit BH will take over the production of more than 50% of the rigid flexible printed circuit boards (RFPCB) used in iPhones, according to a new report.

According to The Elec, BH will account for "mid-50%" of the boards used, while Samsung Electro-Mechanics will produce a further 30%. Youngpoong Electronics will have a hand in more than 10%.

RFPCBs are used to connect the main logic board to the OLED panel, with the flexible nature allowing Apple to design its iPhones the way it does. However, the boards are more costly to produce than the FPCBs used elsewhere.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics is in the process of exiting the RFPCB business and it plans to be out of the game altogether by November. The void left by the company will be filled by multiple other companies, according to the report.

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.

This all means that the iPhone 13 will likely be the last to use RFPCBs from Samsung, not that users will notice.

Apple will likely announce the iPhone 13 lineup this September, but anyone who can't wait that long for a new phone should check out our list of the best iPhone deals now and get a great phone in the process.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.