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

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.

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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.

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