Saturday, September 01, 2012

Production of iPhone Screens Delayed at Sharp

Despite an earlier assertion by Sharp's CEO Takashi Okuda that "Shipments [of iPhone 5 screens, to Apple] will start in August," it appears things are not going as smooth as had been expected. On Friday, a person "with knowledge of the situation" told the Wall Street Journal that Sharp hasn't started mass production of iPhone 5 screens yet.

The iPhone 5 is expected to finally to see an increase in the device's screen size. Until now, every iPhone has had a 3.5-inch diagonal screen. The new iPhone will carry a 4-inch screen, but with a different aspect ratio that will allow Apple to keep the device smaller.

In addition, the iPhone 5 is expected to sport in-cell touch panels. A new technology, in-cell touch panels, which will allow the company to make the screens thinner, because the touch sensors are actually placed inside the color filters rather than atop them.

However, Apple does have other suppliers for its screens, including Japan Display Inc. and South Korea's LG Display Co. Still, with one of its three suppliers having difficulty, it's possible that Apple will have problems keeping up with demand when the iPhone 5 launches.

However, a shortage at the launch of a new iDevice is something most iPhone and iPad fans will recognize as "normal."

Apple is expected to launch the new, larger-screened iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, with retail launch of the device on Sept. 21. It's expected that iOS 6, its new platform version, will be delivered to older devices in the intervening week.

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Then, after the dust of the new iPhone launch settles, Apple is expected to introduce a new, smaller-screened iPad mini, with a 7.85-inch screen, sometime in October.

These two introductions (along with an expected iPad nano refresh and a new iPod touch) will give iDevice fans plenty to look at during the holiday shopping season.

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