updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri June 18, 2010
Analyst claims LG's 960x640 screen stalling iPhone
Apple's growing shortages for the iPhone 4 before launch may have been sparked by the unique 960x640 Retina Display at its heart. Rodman and Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar claims that supply checks have Apple cutting its monthly iPhone 4 production in half to two million units due to LG Display's inability to make enough LCDs in time. There's a "non trivial risk" that demand for the legacy iPhone 3GS could trail off in the summer quarter before the iPhone 4's production is in full swing, Kumar said.
Relief would still come sometime near the end of summer as LG is in the middle of transitioning over to a fifth-generation LCD manufacturing process. Upgrading plants allows companies like LG to cut more displays from large panels and to have fewer flaws that might result in rejections or otherwise hurt the available supply. Rivals often have similar-sized screens or larger but are also using older 800x480 or 854x480 screens with more established processes.
It's not known how many iPhones will be in stock or whether any of the as yet unconfirmed supply issues might affect international launches. However, Apple has already had to push back new US pre-orders by three weeks and has seen O2 limit its own sales to existing customers until August.