Apple iPhone 5 launch could slip as Sharp LCD shipments delayed


The expected launch date of the new Apple iPhone 5 could slip as reports of one of its display manufacturers runs into trouble.

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, Sharp, which is thought to be the company that will make the new screens for the iPhone 5, hasn't even started to produce the displays for the smartphone.

The newspaper cited sources with knowledge of the situation and said that the shortage could mean it would not have enough components to meet demand for the latest device from Apple.

Sharp had planned to start shipping the screens to Apple to make the new iPhone 5 at the end of August but manufacturing difficulties meant that questions remain over when the company can start supplying the parts to Apple.

Two other suppliers, Japan Display and Korean firm LG have already begun shipping iPhone 5 displays to Apple, according to the report. But it is in doubt whether they have the capacity to meet the overwhelming demand for one of the most talked-about smartphones of the year.

It would not be the first time that Sharp has run into problems supplying displays to Apple. Earlier in the year, it delayed shipments for iPad displays to Apple, however there were no reported supply shortages of the tablet.

Another report, this time from Reuters, appears to confirm the WSJ story with an unnamed source telling the news organisation that Sharp has fallen behind schedule. Sharp is believed to be struggling with the high costs of making such screens with speculation that Apple may pay extra to increase production of the iPhone 5 displays.

Much speculation has been rife over the new Apple smartphone with most citing a 30 per cent bigger screen, a new, smaller dock connector and longer battery life.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.