iPhone 8 supply could be very limited for September launch

The number of iPhone 8 handsets available for purchase at launch may be more limited than usual, according to a new report.

Every year, Apple announces an iPhone in September, and then proceeds to sell them by the bucketload. But this year could mark a change in fortunes for Apple, as rumours emerge of supply chain issues that could impact launch stock for the company’s next flagship smartphone.

The rumour relates specifically to OLED panels, which are a type of display panel tipped to debut in the iPhone 8. Unlike traditional backlit-LCD screens, an OLED panel features pixels that emit their own light. The lack of a backlight allows power consumption to be reduced, improved battery light. Better still, because individual pixels can be turned off, it’s possible to show truer blacks, paving the way for a wider dynamic range and colour gamut.

Apple has always steered clear of OLED displays for the iPhone, but is expected to finally introduce the screen technology with the iPhone 8. By contrast, Samsung has been shipping flagship Galaxy smartphones with OLED screens for years.

iPhone 7S 9

However, according to a new report by Digitimes, yield issues with the manufacturing of OLED panels – from Samsung Display, incidentally – may lead to a stock shortage of iPhones for the planned September launch. The article notes that just 3-4 million OLED-based handsets will be available, which is several times less than the number of iPhone handsets Apple typically sells in the first week of sales.

It’s worth noting, however, that Digitimes has a mixed track record when it comes to Apple leaks, so take this latest rumour with due caution. We won’t really know the truth until Apple makes an official announcement later this year.

We should also point out that Apple is rumoured to launch three new iPhone models later this year, only one of which is tipped to feature an OLED screen. This supposed iPhone 8 is said to be in celebration of the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, and will boast several advanced features. Meanwhile, we’re also expected to see two more traditional handsets under the guise of iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus.

Related: Best Android phones

What would you like to see from the next iPhone? Let us know in the comments.