Bloomberg: OLED-making machines can't be churned out fast enough to meet all demand for a curved iPhone 8
Cannon Tokki's OLED makers are elaborate machines that face a two-year order backlog
Such an OLED iPhone 8 won't be easy to produce in mass quantities (fan-made concept)
We are doing all we can to increase output and make that wait shorter."Sprawled among rice fields near the the city of Mitsuke in Niigata prefecture, the Canon Tokki Corporation (yes, an offshoot of the photo and printer company) has been perfecting laying organic light emitting diodes on glass or plastic (for flexible OLEDs) substrates for twenty years now, giving it a head start before the competition. Just one such installation costs about $80 million, and Canon Tokki only makes 10 of them per year. The backlog of orders from Samsung, LG, Japan Display, Sharp and other OLED warriors is currently two years, though Teruhisa Tsugami, the CEO, says "
The thing is that these are highly specialized machines which are tailor-made for each customer's requirements like a luxury vehicle. Just one such OLED-making installation consists of 300 feet long vacuum tube fed glass or plastic substrates on which red, green and blue pixels are deposited via evaporation of organic compounds. The margin of error when applying those millions of tiny pixels there is smaller than the size of a human red-blood cell, and Canon Tokki has a patented technology to achieve such precision by camera tracking.
The moral of the story is that there might not be enough OLED screens of the stringent quality that would be required for the curved iPhone 8 model, which could create supply shortages next fall similar or worse than what we've been experiencing with the dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus this season, but hopefully the OLED yield issues would be resolved by then.