The new iPhone which Apple is planning to launch tomorrow is likely to face manufacturing delays, according to a report in Wall Street Journal.
Any new iPhone usually sells out quite quickly so there’s almost always shortages, but this time shortfalls could be due to a lack of new screens.
Apple has chosen organic light emitting diode – OLED – technology for its screens. Previous iPhones used LCD – liquid crystal display.
LCD uses a backlight to illuminate pixels, whereas OLED pixels produces its own light, which can be easier on the eyes.
The problem seems to be that the new OLED screens are likely to be in short supply because not many manufacturers are set up to supply the quantities that Apple would need.
To add to the complexity, Apple is combining touch functions into the OLED display which would enable the new iPhone to do away with the home button.
The home button is currently used on iPhone for things such as fingerprint identification, which enables users to unlock the device.
This function, too, will be integrated into the new OLED screen.
But none of these reports have been confirmed by Apple.
Foxconn is Apple’s main manufacturing partner, but the company making OLED screens for Apple is an affiliate of Samsung, based in Vietnam, according to WSJ.
Samsung itself also uses OLED for its smartphone screens, but it doesn’t integrate the functionality that Apple is rumoured to want, or has done.
Foxconn is currently in the process of setting up a $10 billion facility in the US which will produce display screens, probably under the brand name of Sharp, which it acquired.
Foxconn, for the time being, is planning to manufacture LCD screens, but OLED screens are in the planning.
In a report on PatentlyApple.com, which uses Nikkei as its source, Foxconn and Sharp are said to be planning to manufacture OLED screens at an iPhone plant in China.