updated 12:24 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2012
May signal end to deep iPhone shortages
Sharp is finally producing "adequate volumes" of displays, according to a company executive quoted by Reuters. The wire agency notes that the displays are intended for the iPhone 5, and may indicate that shortages of the phone are about to ease up. Although the 5 set a record for Apple by selling 5 million units over its launch weekend, analysts were expecting higher numbers, and have blamed the discrepancy on display supplies.
A source recently told Reuters that at the end of August, Sharp was supposed to be mass-producing displays at its Kameyama plant, but ended up slipping behind schedule. The company was allegedly struggling to improve low production yields. The iPhone 5 is one of the first phones to use in-cell touchscreen technology, which meshes touch sensors into a display instead of keeping them separate. The novelty of the technology may be making it harder for Sharp to produce screens in bulk.
As it stands, the iPhone 5 is only shipping in three to four weeks from Apple's US online store. It may be possible to pick one up by visiting first- or third-party retail stores, but even then it may be necessary to go in the morning to beat demand and get the right model.