Apple enthusiasts expect that at least on iPhone model will feature an OLED display in 2017. Samsung has been using the technology for years now. As a result, Apple turned to the South Korean tech giant to provide its production line with OLED displays. Even so, iPhone production may be stalled since Samsung can barely cope with Apple’s high-demand.
Furthermore, Canon Tokki, the Japanese company in charge with manufacturing and distributing OLED-making machines is experiencing some difficulties lately. The OLED-making machine, called ELVESS OLED, is actually a 328-foot long vacuum production system that deposits red, green, and blue pixels on a glass surface using evaporating organic materials.
In order to reduce the margin of error which in turn has led to higher yields that other companies cannot compete against, Canon Tokki has developed key technologies for the production process. The Japanese company is said to build fewer than ten units per year. Bloomberg reports that Canon Tokki has a two-year backlog because of high-demand. At the moment, however, it is not clear if this issue will affect Apple’s iPhone production in 2017.
According to an official statement issued by Teruhisa Tsugami, Canon Tokki’s CEO, the current wait for an ELVESS OLED machine that sells for approximately $85 million is around two years.
“We are doing all we can to increase output and make that wait shorter”, read Teruhisa Tsugami’s written statement.
The note goes to add that the ELVESS OLED machines are in high demand especially from LG Display Co., Samsung Display Co., and Sharp Corp. Most smartphone manufacturers have opted for OLED displays because of the power efficiency aspects involved, superior contrast, and improved battery life, as opposed to traditional LCD displays. Also, an OLED display can easily be made from flexible plastic and consequently thinner than LCDs.
Rumors suggest that an iPhone featuring an OLED display will be released sometime next year. However, opinions in relation to the screen’s design are divided. Some people believe that the next Apple handset will feature a curved OLED display, similar to that of the Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge. On the other hand, some believe that Cupertino, California-based company will go for a flat OLED display instead.
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