“Where’s my iPhone 5?” The plea resounds throughout the land. What’s causing the delay? Why don’t you have your “precious” in your hot little hand? We might have an answer. It seems the complexity of the new device’s advanced in-cell display may be giving the manufacturers fits…
To produce the iPhone 5′s display using in-cell technology, Apple relied on two suppliers: LG Display and Sharp, Barclays told Bloomberg. The in-cell display allowed Apple to combine the touchscreen layer with the display layer, giving consumers a slimmer handset profile and improve color quality. However, due to problems controlling defects, Sharp only began shipping screens for the iPhone 5 after the device went on sale.
An analyst at iSuppli says the in-cell technology, combined with the larger screen size, makes the new display more expensive to manufacture than previous displays — $44 for the iPhone 5 version, compared to $37 for the 4S.
…producing in-cell screens is also more painstaking than earlier screen types, contributing to bottlenecks… Manufacturing enough of those parts for Apple has been challenging for LG and Japan Display… As manufacturing of in-cell screens improves, Apple may sell 45.2 million iPhones in the December quarter and 170.7 million through next September,
On Monday, financial experts were driving themselves to distraction explaining why Apple sold “only” 5 million iPhones during the first weekend of its release. They wailed that Apple had merely broken sales records, not shattered them as predicted.
Some observers cited Apple’s accounting methods, advanced sales that weren’t included in figures, even that some devices hadn’t been delivered, and so not signed for, and therefore not counted. None mentioned the new screen manufacturing delays as being a possible contributor.
As the display problems are ironed out, production rates should increase, and the kinks in the supply chains will be unfurled. Then all that remains for Apple is to figure out a way to meet the increasingly unrealistic expectations of the “experts”.