Will Sharp's lagging production impede 'iPhone 5' launch?

Will Sharp's lagging production impede 'iPhone 5' launch?

Summary: Sharp is falling behind in its production of screens ahead of Apple's rumored iPhone 5 launch, according to reports.


Unnamed sources told Reuters Friday that electronics manufacturer Sharp has fallen behind schedule to produce its allotment of screens for Apple -- just weeks before the high-profile launch is expected to showcase a new iPhone.

According to the publication, Sharp is combating high costs and manufacturing difficulties which have cut into the profit the display maker will make on screen production. Due to these (assumed) unforeseen costs, Reuters sources suggest that Apple may provide further "financial incentives" to speed up production.

apple sharp lcd display problems supply iphone iphone5

No information was disclosed on how far behind screen output has fallen. However, the Wall Street Journal says that it remains "unclear" when the company can start shipping the panels, and whether or not the manufacturing problems may affect supply after launch.

On Aug 2, Sharp President Takashi Okuda said in a press briefing that the company would begin shipping screens this month for the new product -- heavily rumored to be the iPhone5 -- after being chosen to manufacture the component. The Kameyama LCD plant in Japan is the source of manufacture, and is currently "operational" according to a Sharp spokesperson.

Sharp is one of three suppliers of the new LCD iPhone panels. The others are Japan Display Inc. and South Korean firm LG Display.

Although no official word has been given on the size or composition of the new iPhone screen, Reuters reports that the screen measures 4 inches, 0.5 inches larger than current displays. In addition, Apple has reportedly increased available screen space by making it taller.

The new screen may also include in-cell panels, which are touch sensors embedded within a liquid crystal display. This would remove the touch-screen layer that current iPhone models possess. Nano-SIMs -- 40 percent smaller than the micro-SIMs Apple employs -- are also rumored to be part of the new package.

Apple's product launch is expected on September 12.

Topic: Apple

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  • Wow

    I guess now would be a good time for Samsung to strike and tell Apple they're not making those screens anymore!
    • Assuming they are still making screens for Apple...

      That would be called "breach of contract." This isn't a company/union scenario. You can't just "strike" when you have contractual obligations to live up to (and even most strikes/lockouts take place only when a labor agreement has expired). At least not without significant ramifications. Apple might not go for the kill on a manufacturer that has legitimate manufacturing issues (like Sharp apparently does), but if Samsung were to simply fail to meet contractual obligations out of spite, Apple could easily go after damages for lost revenue due to delays. I highly doubt Samsung is really interested in risking having to pay Apple the equivalent of the revenue that will be generated by the millions of iPhone 5s that otherwise would be sold over the next few months. And, that would be a double hit, as they'd be losing the revenue they'd otherwise RECEIVE from Apple for manufacturing the components in the first place.

      This isn't the 3rd grade playground. You don't just take your ball and go home when these type of things are on the line.

      Plus, from what the article says, Samsung isn't even making the screens for the new iPhone. Sharp, Japan Display Inc and LG were those that Apple selected for the screens.
      • Correct; even if Sharp lags with screens production, Apple has Japan ...

        ... Display, LG Display, and (Chimei) Innolux (not listed recently, but they do iPhone's screens). So no impede should come. But lets see.
        • But capacity is the issue

          Apple requires HUGE capacity all at once to ship worldwide so any problems of manufacture is a big deal. It's not like other tablet or phones companies that make smaller quantities of any given model fo phone.

          It's obvious that the problem is the in-cell tech on these new screens that's the problem. I believe Samsung has a much better manufacturing capability to produce these new in-cell panels, but because of the Apple lawsuits, I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung told Apple to take a hike.
        • Need to remind you that

          The iPad's light bleeding defect led Apple to crawl back to Samsung for their LCD panel supply again?
        • It is not as easy as you believe

          the manufacturers you list would not have the materials, nor the production capabilities on hand to immediately jump in to pick up the slack.

          Manufacturers have on hand that which they need to fullfill the order placed to them by Apple, no more, no less.

          Having idle production facilities, and addition stock that may never be used would be a waste of money, and resources.
          John Zern
      • Huh?

        "You can't just "strike" when you have contractual obligations to live up to (and even most strikes/lockouts take place only when a labor agreement has expired)."

        Yes, most strikes/lockouts DO occur when a labor agreement has expired. That does NOT mean that the company suddenly doesn't have contractual obligations to it's customers. Yes, they CAN strike in the middle of production for customers; it's happened here in my home town more times that I can count. That's how unions continue to get higher wages. The company needs to fulfill their obligations to the customers and the union knows they can strike and get pretty much what they want because management wants to continue production to fulfill customer orders.
        • That depends on the contract

          The union has with it's employers. Some unions - especially those in right to work states - have a no strike clause in their contracts.
    • Tissue?

      You're kidding, right? Samsung has a huge worldwide business selling components. You think they should gain a reputation as a company that can't be trusted to deliver if some executive there goes into a snit? Please tell me you were just letting your inner child vent.
      Robert Hahn
      • what Samsung should do...

        once the current contract is up Samsung should drastically increase the price of all the components they make for Apple.
        • You MOR*N

          Samsung should do what is good for their share holders. Dropping a billion dollar contract is not it...
          • There are plenty of other companies that will purchase from Samsung

            Unless you are trying to suggest that Samsung is forced to do business with Apple?
          • No, but...

            There are not plenty of other companies that can guarantee the volume that Apple can.
          • Why does Samsung have to sell to only 1 company?

            Instead of selling X amount to just crapple, why can't Sammy sell X divided by 100 to 100 different companies?

            But you have already answered my question: Samsung is forced to do business with crapple.

            Apple has a monopoly AND monopsony. Bad news for the free market.

            (names changed to get past spam filter)
          • It's not that big of a contract

            It's been posted that Apple products contribute about 5% toward Samsung's bottom line. Besides other companies like ASUS would more than make up for it considering that ASUS has had trouble making enough of their very successful transformer tablets and that's before the the introduction of the Nexus 7 which is even more popular.
          • Dude. Take their money

            Obviously, none of you people have ever run a sales force. The goal is not to get Asus INSTEAD of Apple, or to fill the hole you dug by booting Apple. The goal is to get Asus AND Apple. Sending Apple (with its huge volumes) down the street to buy from LG because you personally have your shorts in a bunch over some lawsuit costs your company money, deprives your fellow employees of more and better job opportunities, helps the competition grow at the expense of the guys who pay your salary, and would -- if you were exposed doing it on purpose -- get you fired.
            Robert Hahn
          • The goal

            is for Samsung to use their own production capacity to create their own product and take the marketshare from the companies that depend on them.

            Plain and simple, Apple views Samsung as a competitor and they are cutting business with competitors.

            If there was suddenly a shortage of iphones, then it wouldn't be to surprising if sales of GalaxyS3 saw a large upswing.
          • Screw the customers!

            What's true for Samsung is true for Microsoft, since both are component suppliers. So Microsoft should be planning when and how it's going to stop supplying Windows to the hardware OEMs as it rolls out its own hardware offerings.

            After all, if there were suddenly a shortage of tablets from Dell, HP, and Lenovo, then it wouldn't be too surprising if sales of Surface saw a large upswing.

            Yet we are assured by Microsoft's many fans that no such plans are in the works, and that the hardware OEMs are happy as clams. I think Microsoft's many fans should leave the Samsing-breaking-contract fantasies and the Samsung-delivering-poor-quality fantasies for the Google salesmen to post, lest they strike fear into the hearts of the Windows OEMs that they represent Microsoft's actual thinking on this matter.
            Robert Hahn
          • LOL! Quite frankly........

            the dumbest damn comparison I've ever read. The difference between Microsoft making hardware and Apple suing it's biggest suppliers is massive beyond words. It's not even the same dumbass. Microsoft has no reason not to ship Windows to OEMs, because they're not going to make enough hardware to sell Windows to 1.4 billion consumers, nor are they trying to damage their OEMs, in spite of the hysterical rantings of Acer's idiotic CEO.
          • Typical mentality of ignorant fandroids

            ASUS OFFICIAL number of tablets shipped (not sold) for the past 2 years: 600K units

            Apple SALES last quarter alone: 28 million.

            Yeah .... Samsung will do better by replacing Apple with ASUS.

            Why are fandroids such ignorant people??