Friday, August 03, 2012

Sharp president confirms shipments of iPhone 5 screens to begin this month

This isn't a rumor because it comes directly from Sharp, so it lends more credibility to recent reports of the iPhone 5's release date. Sharp's new president, Takashi Okuda, said at a press briefing in Tokyo on Thursday after the company released its latest quarterly earnings that "Shipments [of iPhone 5 screens, to Apple] will start in August."

It lends credence to recent reports that pointed to a Sept. 12 announcement and a Sept. 21 launch of Apple's newest smartphone.

In addition to the iPhone 5, it's expected that Apple will launch a smaller-screened iPad, which most are currently calling the iPad mini. That device is reported to sport a 7.85-inch non-retina display. It's also rumored that a new iPod touch will debut (the device did not get an update in 2011) along with an iPod nano.

Sharp is just one of the suppliers for Apple's screens. The other two suppliers of the panels are LG and Japan Display, which is actually a joint venture between Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba.

The iPhone 5 is expected to finally increase the iPhone'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, Apple will use a new technology, in-cell touch panels, which will allow the company to make the screens thinner.

Other rumored features are LTE support, a quad-core processor, a centered FaceTime camera, and a headset jack that is moved to the bottom of the device. It is also expected to sport a smaller dock connector, one that is bound to make accessory makers pull out their hair.

While Apple may provide an adapter for current cables, that's not going to help those with accessories such as stereo docks.

Consumers seem to have entered into the typical pre-new-iPhone waiting cycle, when they hold off on iPhone purchases while waiting for a new iPhone version. Analysts believe that "hold" is at least part of the reason that Apple's fiscal Q3 2012 results were disappointing.

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