iPhone Production May Face Disruptions Due to OLED Display Chip Shortage
Last month, Samsung was forced to shut down its chip fabrication plant in Texas due to large winter storms. The plant is responsible for 5% of the global supply of chips for smartphones and personal computers, and its closure has caused a widespread global shortage. The plant makes chips for Samsung OLED displays, which Apple uses for the iPhone.
The Samsung Texas plant manufactures telecommunications chips for the U.S. semiconductor giant Qualcomm. The facility also produces chips for organic light-emitting diode panels and for image sensors.
The supply crunch hitting Qualcomm will affect a wide range of smartphone makers that rely on the company for key components. Apple, which procures OLED panels from Samsung, could also face disruptions in iPhone production.
The report doesn't elaborate on the specifics, including which iPhone models would be impacted or the length of the aforementioned disruptions. Last year, due to the global health crisis, Apple suppliers were forced to close factories in China and elsewhere around the world. The closures led to the delayed launch of the iPhone 12 in October, which typically happens in September.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says, however, that the 2021 iPhone should be expected in September, specifically saying that Apple suppliers are poised to begin mass production within Apple's usual summer timeframe. Reports last year indicated mass production for the iPhone 12 series did not begin until September.