Apple iPhone 8 May Cause Potential OLED Shortage Panic

Jan 19, 2017 09:00 AM EST | BC Tabotabo

Apple's iPhone 8 and Samsung's Galaxy S8 are expected to be unveiled soon. As a consequence, Chinese smartphone manufacturers will have to aggressively compete for OLED and other smartphone components.

The introduction of the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones from the top two phone manufacturers could potentially trigger a shortage of OLED panels. Sources in the Taiwanese supply chain of smartphone components told DigiTimes that supplies for their products may soon become scarce. This includes memory, optical sensors, and LCDs.

In the past, high-end smartphone components were only purchased by a handful of manufacturers. Now, Chinese premium smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo are already manufacturing their own mid to high-end smartphones. Indeed, LCDs may soon be in tight supply. Moreover, leading smartphones are slowly increasing the size of their displays from 5 inches to 5.5 inches and above.

Apple's new line-up of smartphones is expected to debut this year. The iPhone 8 is expected to be one of them, while the other two may be part of the "iPhone 7s" line. There have also been reports going around that the Cupertino company will be introducing a new 5.8-inch iPhone 8 screen. This screen is expected to have a curved Samsung OLED edge-to-edge display.

Reports on OLED shortages have been known for some time now. There were already reports in the past that Apple was asking suppliers to increase their output of thinner OLEDs. This was also due to the iPhone 7 Plus shortage where supply simply could not meet the demand.

For the first quarter of this year, the iPhone manufacturer was already forced to drop their production due to a decrease in sales. Seeing the potential of the iPhone 8, the Cupertino smartphone manufacturer will most likely try to produce more iPhones to meet all of the demand.

The iPhone manufacturer is also trying to work with other companies to find similar or better OLED displays. Considering that the two companies are head to head in the smartphone race, it is difficult to have Samsung as a supplier. Additionally, the two are even involved in patent lawsuits against one another.

While the potential shortage and increase in smartphone prices are still uncertain, the world can expect to see Apple and Samsung's latest flagships soon. Who will win the battle as the leading smartphone manufacturer this year?

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