It seems like Samsung is going to be plagued with quite a few production shortages this year. Recently DigiTimes reported that Samsung may run into supply issues with their octa-core Exynos chip. As it turns out, they may also have issues when it comes to supplying AMOLED display panels.
According to DisplaySearch, just one of many analyst firms there has already been a pretty sizeable strain on AMOLED display units. The company forecasts that the supply and demand ration for that particular component will reach 1% by the end of the year. To translate, that means any type of setback big or small could easily throw the supply chain off the track. Does that mean it's going to happen, and we should all prepare for Galaxy series doomsday (or any other device that uses Samsung's AMOLED display for that matter)? No, but it is certainly a cause for alarm.
According to Charles Annis, the vice president of manufacturing analysis at DisplaySearch:
Samsung Display still produces the vast majority of commercially available AMOLEDs, and these are mainly used in smartphones. With the recent release of the Galaxy S4 with a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED display, Samsung will need to run its AMOLED fabs at maximum capacity to keep up with expected high demand.
As the supply/demand ratio is expected to tighten dramatically, Samsung is moving to significantly extend capacity at its A2 5.5G fab from 2013-2014. Additionally, the company may also accelerate its plans for A3, another new AMOLED production line.
Rapid growth of smartphones and tablets, in conjunction with the continued shift towards larger average TV sizes, are driving a recovery of the FPD industry. In fourth-quarter 2012, average operating margins for flat panel display makers turned positive for the first time since third-quarter 2010, and this trend is forecast to continue. Additionally, the outlook for fab utilization, equipment spending and technology upgrades is improving in 2013 and potentially will continue into 2014.
It looks like the technology used in TFT LCD flat panel displays will also see a shortage this year too. Of course, that doesn't really affect the mobile market. It does show that the general demand for TFT LCD displays is on the rise, which means it's safe to assume the same for AMOLED displays. When you consider just how popular Samsung's devices are, including the Galaxy S4 it's not difficult to see there may very well be issues in the future.
Then again, you can't just blindly trust a market analyst firm.