The struggling Japanese electronics giant Sharp confirmed Friday that it is making “adequate volumes” of displays used for Apple’s iPhone 5, Reuters reports. Sharp’s statement arrives just as Apple has rolled out the device to 22 more countries this morning. The ongoing supply constraints continue to affect availability of the iPhone 5, which still shows 2-3 week shipping times on Apple’s international online stores. Furthermore, some international carriers stopped taking iPhone 5 pre-orders due to low supplies…
Sharp’s statement comes after a Barclays analyst told Bloomberg that Sharp, due to problems controlling defects, only began shipping screens for the iPhone 5 after the device went on sale, suggesting that yield issues with the in-cell assembly process is causing iPhone 5 delays.
That Sharp is now making “adequate volumes” of iPhone 5 displays indicates indicating that a possible bottleneck in supplies of screens may have eased, the news gathering organization has it.
At the end of August three weeks before the new iPhone went on sale, Sharp, which was supposed to be mass producing at its Kameyama plant in central Japan, had fallen behind schedule, a source earlier told Reuters.
Sharp, the source said, was struggling to improve low production yields, raising the question of whether Apple would be prepared to sweeten financial incentives to secure an acceleration of production.
Deutsche Securities analyst Yasuo Nakane wrote in a note to clients that “The iPhone 5’s 4-inch low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) touch-panel display with in-panel switching (IPS) is exceptionally difficult to produce at high yields”.
In-cell display tech removes a layer to directly fuse touch sensors into the display.
He also estimates iPhone screen capacity at Japan Display and LG Display at eight million a month each, and at six million at Sharp.
Despite teething problems early adopters are facing, Consumer Reports gave the iPhone 5 a thumbs-up.
By the way, Sharp is certainly going to have to get its affairs in order as rival LG Display is now stealing its biz.
Here’s to hoping that iPhone 5 availability will improve as a result fo this.