Flexible OLED display shortages may continue for several years, analysts claim


After the word got out about Apple's decision to move to flexible OLED displays with the upcoming iPhone 8, news of panel shortages started flying around pretty quickly, with some people going as far as claiming the company's upcoming premium won't make it in time for the traditional mid-September launch. But while that latter part is almost certainly false, flexible OLED shortages sure seem to be a real problem, and also one that will continue existing for the next few years, according to a new report from Chinese research firm Sigmaintell.

As it currently stands, Samsung is the biggest manufacturer of plastic OLED (POLED) panels — the same ones that make their way to the company's own flagships. But now that Apple's entered the game as well, Chinese manufacturers are reportedly gearing up to build their own POLED production lines starting next year, on which they will spend a total of 200 billion yuan (~$30 billion).

However, the researchers predict these lines may take around five years to stabilize, during which Samsung will remain the top manufacturer. However, LG Display is also aiming to supply Apple with OLED panels as soon as next year, which could potentially shake up the status quo quite a bit.

The firm also speculates that out of all devices shipped this year, 11 percent will utilize 'full-screen displays' (think tall aspect ratios and small bezels), while this figure could grow up to 80 percent by 2020. This move is also predicted to push manufacturers to find practical ways to include under-display fingerprint scanners in their devices, which could debut as early as next year.

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6 Comments

1. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Well Really not a shock when the two manufactures (LG/Samsung) go all out OLED on their device ( Even entry end device) then Apple goes Oled- shortages will be huge. If Samsung can only produce enough for it phones then what ever is left goes to the other OEM like Oppo, Xiamo, Hauwia Nokia etc.. ( I know I got them all wrong) a huge order from Apple its gonna be tough to fulfill initially - even with Samsung's capacity. LG ( who has less capacity then Samsung) also will supply its offering first and then supply whats left. Yeah supplies are gonna be tough.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7220; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The under the screen technology already exists in Qualcomms ultrasonic scanner. However it's not cheap, plus it's expensive to manufacture in bulk.

2. zr2s10

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

If Samsung and LG want to ramp up production in a hurry, I'd say a year for the equipment, another 6 months to work out the kinks. They already have their machine processes and designs figured out, so it's just an expansion. New players? 3 years minimum, probably the 5 they mention here. But if Samsung and LG want to ramp up, nowhere near that long. 5 years from an analyst is nothing more than stock market manipulation. But of course, isn't that what they really do for a living??

6. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Samsung has no interest in setting up a new factory to cover Apple's needs as Apple has already made it clear they've got no business loyalty, bankrupting hardware manufacturers both in the U.S., Japan and trying to do the same in China. Add to that their constant negative rhetoric about buying Samsung components. Their inability to source large component supplies for the iPhone 8 is because they've spent the last half decade burning all the bridges. Even the bankrupcy and bridge burning king, Trump, is probably thinking "what the hell is Apple thinking?".

4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

In title "Flexible OLED display shortages.." But use iPhone 8 render as main picture? iPhonearena :v

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Plus its an unconfirm render. Only fan make such a frenzy move. I am ok if they just use an apple logo as the article is related to apple making OLED shortage problem worse.

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