Apple’s big plans for making the 2017 iPhone fitted with vibrant OLED displays is under fire from the suppliers of the display themselves. According to a Bloomberg report, Samsung and the other three OLED suppliers that Apple has roped in to produce the display in mass scale will not be able to meet the demand by 2017.
The report states that the four main OLED suppliers don’t have the required production capacity to accommodate screens for all the new iPhones that are going to be produced next year and the constraints will likely continue till 2018 posing a major challenge to the Cupertino-based giant. Apple’s stringent quality checks too are difficult for the suppliers.
Making the OLED screens take more time as compared to the LCD screens making Apple be at the mercy of specialized suppliers who have the production capabilities of making the OLED displays. As a result, Apple may have to restrict the OLED screens to only one version of the 2017 iPhone or in the worst case, push the adoption of the OLED screens back by a year at least.
Apple had cut a deal with Samsung to supply the company with OLED screens larger than 5-inch in 2017. But Samsung has no guarantee it will have enough output to meet the huge demand iPhones tend to create. Samsung anyway is in constraint supplying OLED screens for its own Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Apple ordered 100 million units of OLED screen from Samsung over 2017, but Samsung will only be able to deliver only a portion of that quantity for 2017 holiday period when the demand for smartphones is at its global peak. Analysts already estimate some 90 million iPhones will be sold in the holiday quarter of 2017.
If Samsung fails to meet the demand, Apple may not have another supplier to fall back on like it has done in previous cases. Other suppliers such as Sharp and Japan Display are still in their R&D stage of developing OLED screens. Neither of the two has the production capacity to meet the huge demand.
Reliable Apple analyst, KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo is of the opinion that Apple will release an OLED iPhone alongside the regular 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones and while all the variants will have an all-glass back, the OLED iPhone will sport a curved edge-to-edge display, possibly of 5.8-inch with a bezel-less design.