Apple’s OLED Suppliers Could Struggle To Meet Demand For 2017 iPhone

Rumor has it that Apple is finally ready to introduce OLED displays in its 2017 flagship iPhone 8. However, the latest reports suggest that the plan, if true, may not be a very successful one for Apple, as most suppliers aren’t ready to manufacture as many displays yet.

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In a new report, Bloomberg reveals that there are just a handful of suppliers that manufacture components for OLED displays, and because of this, the companies may not have enough production capacity to make screens for the new iPhones next year, with constraints potentially continuing into 2018.

The four largest producers are Samsung Display Co, LG Display Co, Sharp Corp, and Japan Display Inc. While Samsung is on track to be the sole supplier for the new displays for Apple next year, the South Korean company may also not be able to make enough due to low yield rates combined with increasing iPhone demand.

The constraint seems plausible considering, OLED screens are more difficult to produce as compared to what Apple phones have been featuring till now. Which in turn, puts Apple at the mercy of suppliers that are still working to manufacture the displays in mass quantities.

“Apple has already figured in there will be high demand for the OLED model and they’ve also figured out there will be constraints to these panels,” said Dan Panzica, a supply chain analyst at IHS Markit. This may cause Apple to either drop the OLED display idea altogether, or just launch a single variant with an OLED display.

A single variant with an OLED display does fall in line with the latest rumor, according to which Apple plans to ship a new iPhone with an OLED screen next year, the 10th anniversary of the smartphone’s debut. However, the other new iPhone models will likely feature screens with older LCD technology, partly because there won’t be enough OLED displays to satisfy anticipated demand, said KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Do you think the next iPhone will feature an OLED display?