Though the mandatory daily iPhone 5 rumor has already produced some nice pics of a fully-assembled iPhone 5 sitting next to an iPhone 4, there is also some less-exciting news surrounding Apple’s new smartphone.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sharp is having trouble manufacturing the LCD panels for the iPhone 5, and hasn’t begun mass producing them. The WSJ quotes a “person with knowledge of the situation” as saying Sharp had plans to ship the panels by the end of August, but was delayed by “manufacturing difficulties.”
Apple manufacturer Foxconn earlier this year invested billions in Sharp, which was struggling to stay afloat. Rumors stated that Sharp would be manufacturing the LCD displays for the upcoming Apple HDTV. Foxconn will be hoping that these manufacturing issues are resolved quickly, and that Sharp doesn’t face similar difficulties in the future, further delaying the Apple HDTV.
Luckily, Apple hasn’t put all its eggs into one basket. Japan Display and LG Display also manufacture the LCD panels for the iPhone 5. So, while the Sharp delays might mean a slight supply crunch on launch day, it is unlikely at this point that Apple will delay the impending launch of its flagship device on September 21. It is expected that Apple will sell an unbelievable 250 million iPhone 5 devices.
Some Apple fans might not be able to get their hands on the iPhone 5 as soon as they would like, but that’s sure to create a burgeoning second-hand market for the smartphone on eBay. Oh, well. At least customers in China can already get a cheap knockoff of the smartphone.