Dec 26, 2016: With the aim to adopt the best display for its iPhone 8, Apple Inc. zeros in on a Japanese supplier Canon Tokki Corp for its production line.
Canon Tokki has near monopoly on the machines capable of making OLED screens. However, despite doubling its output in 2016, Canon Tokki has a backlog. Hence, due to this production bottleneck, industry insiders raise a question over Apple’s ability to add OLED displays in its iPhone 8.
Currently, such a machine will cost $85 billion (10 billion yen), and the waiting time is two years. With a current annual output of less than 10 units, Canon Tokki has confirmed that it is trying to increase output further and make that wait shorter.
For the next three years, there will be strong demand for such machines from display makers like Samsung Display, LG Display, Sharp, and others.
Canon Tokki’s machine is a vacuum production line of 100 meters (328 feet) long. Glass panels are propelled by robotic arms through several chambers, and red, green and blue pixels are deposited on the surface by evaporating organic materials.
Canon Tokki makes OLED machines with a patented mechanism, which improves yield of display makers.
According to IHS Markit, the market for small- and medium-sized OLED panels will be valued at $18.6 billion in 2018. Hence, it is a big opportunity for Tokki, as it can have the whole market to itself for the next three years.