Shortage of OLED screen manufacturing machines could hurt the production of iPhones in 2017

It has been commented on several times about the OLED screens for the iPhone. The latest news about this revealed to us that these screens would be curved and made of plastic instead of glass. Regardless, Apple is expected to entrust the task of producing the screens to companies such as Samsung, LG Display, Sharp and Japan Display. However, there is a big question that cannot be ignored: the annual sale of iPhones is normally 200 million devices, and it is likely that there are not enough screens manufactured to meet this demand.

This fact led Apple to go “directly at the source”. As the Bloomberg, the president of Foxconn (main supplier to Apple, located in China), Terry Gou, allegedly said he visited the Japanese company Canon Tokki in order to “guarantee an order”.

The Japanese company is a unit of Canon Inc. and manufactures machines that produce such OLED screens. Basically dominating the entire market, Canon Tokki supplies machines to almost all companies that use this screen, including Samsung, LG and Sharp. This means that there are already a lot of people “in line”.


The machine, called ELVESS OLED, is a “monster”: it has a vacuum production line almost * 100 meters * long. It is used to deposit red, blue and green pixels on a glass surface by evaporating organic materials. Being such a complex machine (and costing around US $ 85 million each), the company can only manufacture less than 10 of these * per year * and is already two years behind due to high demand. The company’s CEO, Teruhisa Tsugami, says that “they are doing everything they can to increase production and decrease waiting time”.

As we always see, it may be normal for Apple’s inventories not to be as robust when a device is launched. However, looking at the facts, if the rumors are confirmed it will bring to the public only a model with the new screens, and perhaps this is more an imposed decision than a strategic one – which, of course, does not prevent it from “selling the idea ”As something completely thought out.

[via AppleInsider]