Apple's OLED Suppliers Won't Be Able to Meet Demand for 2017 iPhone

Apple's four main OLED suppliers won't be able to meet the production capacity necessary to match demand for the 2017 iPhone, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Supply constraints are expected to last until 2018.

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OLED screens are more difficult to produce in mass quantities than LCD screens, which means Apple is "at the mercy" of suppliers who are willing to produce them in the necessary quantities. Bloomberg notes that the supply constraints may force Apple to either restrict OLED use to one version of the next iPhone or push adoption of the technology back.

While Apple and Samsung have an exclusive OLED deal for 2017, it doesn't guarantee that the company will be able to meet Apple's demand. For example, Samsung's OLED supplies have already been constrained due to its own smartphones, like the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

Apple's OLED screen order is for displays larger than 5 inches, according to Bloomberg. The Cupertino company has ordered an initial round of 100 million units over the next year, but Samsung will only be able to provide a portion of that for the Holiday 2017 quarter. Apple may face troubles if Samsung can't meet its demand.

If Samsung sees supply constraints in its ramp up of OLED panels for the fall 2017 iPhone launch, Apple may not have another major provider to fall back on. That’s why Apple usually has multiple suppliers for key components. For example, it has sourced LCD panels from all of the major Asia-based display makers. For next year, at least, it appears that OLED supply chain may be a single-company affair.

On Tuesday, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that he believes Apple will launch an all-new OLED iPhone alongside 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones. While all three iPhones are likely to sport a new design with a glass back, the new OLED iPhone will have a curved edge-to-edge display. Kuo previously said the OLED iPhone would sport a 5.8-inch display with a bezel-free design.

Top Rated Comments

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47 months ago
BS!

Complete and utter BS!

Apple won't be using OLED displays ever.

Ming Chi Kuo trolled the media saying the next iPhone will have OLED (buzz), and now he's making up excuses (kill).

If Apple were to put an OLED in 2017, they would have decided about it in 2013, and primed the suppliers in 2014, tested in 2015, manufactured in 2016 to release in 2017. What do people think Apple is? A bunch of amateurs that decide their products roadmap 2 weeks before releasing them?

Apple will probably bet on their technology, microLED, that will be superior to OLED (at least because it doesn't burn), so instead of being "late to the party", they'll be "trailblazers".

But I'm waiting for that guy that will say the next iPhone will suck because it doesn't have an headphone jack.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago

"While Apple and Samsung have an exclusive OLED deal for 2017, it doesn't guarantee that the company will be able to meet Apple's demand. For example, Samsung's OLED supplies have already been constrained due to its own smartphones, like the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge."

So in other words, Samsung is trying to make up for the setback of its own smartphones by crying "we can't meet Apple wants because we have our own phones to tend to".

Large tech conglomerates don't operate on spite - they operate on profit. Samsung is a major supplier to Apple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
How shocking, a news story that iPhone supply is constrained ..... Seems like it's part of the marketing build up each year....quick I need to pre-order....even though buying online these days is the worst experience if you want to get a new product asap....
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
Funny I thought Tim was the supply chain guru.

I'd say this is a failure.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
The 2018 iPhone will be in short supply at launch due to something. You heard it here first.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
"While Apple and Samsung have an exclusive OLED deal for 2017, it doesn't guarantee that the company will be able to meet Apple's demand. For example, Samsung's OLED supplies have already been constrained due to its own smartphones, like the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge."

So in other words, Samsung is trying to make up for the setback of its own smartphones by crying "we can't meet Apple wants because we have our own phones to tend to".
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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