Japanese tech giant Sony, which is supplying the panel used by Apple for its new mixed reality device Vision Pro, has a capacity of 900,000 units of these panels per year, TheElec has learned.
Sony manufactures the OLED on silicon, or OLEDoS, which uses silicon as a substrate to make a high-resolution micro OLED display panel, being used by Cupertino for its new MR device unveiled last week at WWDC 2023.
Sources said Sony’s capacity means Apple will only be able to ship hundreds of thousands of Vision Pro at most next year.
At most, the Japanese company can supply between 100,000 to 200,000 units of OLEDoS per quarter.
While there are other manufacturers of OLEDoS such as China’s SeeYa, it is unlikely that Apple will use other suppliers at the current time besides Sony, a long-time supplier of various components.
The new Vision Pro costs US$3,499, a high price tag that will also limit purchases and make Apple focus on avoiding shipping defective products.
The point to watch will be which new supplier may enter Apple’s supply chain for the device when the second generation version of it launches.
Cupertino had asked Sony to expand its OLEDoS production capacity but the Japanese company refused, sources said.
So for Apple to expand the shipment of Vision Pro, it will need new suppliers of OLEDoS.
A possible candidate is LG Display, but the South Korean display panel maker is yet to start building an OLEDoS production line.
Meanwhile, Apple is using an OLEDoS that incorporates white-OLED and a color filter.
As Samsung Display, which is developing OLEDoS technology that uses red, green and blue-OLED instead, Cupertino could very much change the technology it uses for the OLEDoS it plans to apply in later Vision Pro models.