OLED panel shortages could cause shipment issues for VR headset makers

HTC Vive & Oculus Rift 372

As we get closer to the holiday shopping season, demand for virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift and the recently launched PlayStation VR will certainly increase from consumers. However, those companies may have issues making enough headsets to meet the demand, due to a possible shortage of OLED panels.

According to a new report from the research analyst firm TrendForce, the higher demand for VR headsets, combined with more smartphones using OLED displays, could limit the amount of panels available for those VR products in the near term. According to Jason Tsai, wearable device analyst for TrendForce:

The top three branded VR device vendors – HTC, Oculus and Sony – are all seeing high demand for their respective products, but they currently do not have the production capacity to match. The three major vendors may face the unfortunate situation of not having enough products on stock to satisfy consumers during the peak sales season of November and December.

TrendForce predicts these kinds of component shortages could affect VR hardware shipments for the next year or two. It also claims that the PlayStation VR will be the overall leader in this industry, as many owners of the PlayStation 4 and the upcoming PlayStation 4 Pro consoles will want to buy this accessory. In fact, the firm claims that the PSVR will help boost overall annual sales of those consoles from 18.4 million units in 2016 to 21.2 million units in 2017.

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