Apple's anniversary iPhone will have an organic light-emitting diode or OLED display. That is if this particular tiny manufacturing company delivers on its promise.
Canon Tokii Corp. is a Japanese mechatronics manufacturing company that is being depended on heavily by Apple and other tech companies to help provide OLED displays for their products.
But how can a company as small as Canon Tokii help a tech giant like Apple? And just how different is one from the other?
Apple is based in Silicon Valley, the hotbed of modern technology while Canon Tokii is located in the Japanese countryside surrounded by rice paddies. Apple employs 66,000 people in the United States as of Jan. 2015 although there are hundreds of thousands of employees with work connected to Apple including the 30,000 people who work in all 265 Apple Stores. As for Canon Tokii, they have 343 employees.
But the little tech company that could spell the difference between an OLED and a non-OLED iPhone 8.
Canon Tokii actually makes the equipment used in making OLED displays. In fact, it has a "near monopoly" on the machines that make the screens with OLED. Because it is basically the only company capable of building such machines, it has lately been having some difficulties meeting the demand. The corporation is based in the city of Mitsuke in Niigata prefecture but has two plants, one in Mitsuke and the other in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa.
Bloomberg has reported that Canon Tokii is currently experiencing a backlog of orders for the machine. It supplies the display-making equipment to other much larger companies such as Samsung, LG, and Sharp. Each machine costs $85 million and takes two years to come out of the production line.
If Apple succeeds in integrating the OLED technology into the former's flagship smartphone, the iPhone 8 will be the first of its kind in the Apple stable.