New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Suppliers 'Scrambling' to Produce Enough iPhone 6 Displays After Issues With New Backlight

Apple's supply chain is scrambling to get enough displays ready for the iPhone 6 ahead of its launch next month, reports Reuters.

iphone6frontpanel
Front panel said to be from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6

The report notes that production issues were made prevalent when the backlight film for the device's display panel had to be redesigned, halting production for two months:
Two supply chain sources said display panel production suffered a setback after the backlight that helps illuminate the screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July. One said Apple, aiming for the thinnest phone possible, initially wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers, for the 4.7-inch screen, which went into mass production ahead of the 5.5-inch version.
After the backlight film component was revised, Apple reportedly rejected it and went back to add the second layer to the panel causing a delay. As it stands, production of the display has resumed as suppliers are attempting to work quickly to make up for lost time before the device's launch.

Concerns over the iPhone 6's backlight design surfaced last month from supply chain, which also suggested that Apple's desire to use only one backlight film to minimize the size of the handset would cause production delays. Current generation iPhone displays are supplied by Minebea and use two layers in order to improve readability in these backlit displays.

In a single layer setup for the device's display, one layer has to be of a very high quality to take the place of the standard second layer. To meet the demand for the part, Apple had allegedly gone to OMRON and Radian to add them as suppliers alongside Minebea, however the outcome of that effort is not known. Previous reports of production issues surrounding the iPhone 6 had pinpointed challenges with the device's in-cell touch panel and metal casings.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 at an event on September 9, with a launch for the 4.7-inch version likely come a week later. It is unclear if the 5.5-inch version will ship at the same time, as Apple is also said to be experiencing other production issues with the larger device. Both models of the iPhone 6 will likely feature a thinner, rounded chassis and incorporate a new A8 processor, a refined camera, and iOS 8.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

10 weeks ago
An iPhone 6 rumour a day keeps the boredom away.
Rating: 28 Votes
10 weeks ago

How about... Just checking if everything works before mass producing a whole bunch of them?


That's brilliant! You should email this to Tim ASAP.

..how people think they are smarter than Apple's best managers and executives.:mad:
Rating: 17 Votes
10 weeks ago

One said Apple, aiming for the thinnest phone possible, initially wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers


Oh, the obsession. This is getting ridiculous.
Rating: 15 Votes
10 weeks ago
I guess what Apple really meant with "'Can't innovate' my ass!" was actually "'Can't make it thinner!' my ass!". Because that's pretty much Apple's plans for iPhone innovation: make it slightly faster, slightly thinner and with a slightly better camera, and call it "revolutionary".

That's brilliant! You should email this to Tim ASAP.

..how people think they are smarter than Apple's best managers and executives.:mad:


Well, people do have been saying for years that they want bigger iPhones... And now it looks like Apple's "best managers" agree those people were right! :eek:;)
Rating: 12 Votes
10 weeks ago

Pushing the limits until you fail is the only way to achieve the maximum.


The problem is, no one is clamoring for a thinner phone. I bet if you asked 1000 people if they want the thinnest possible iPhone, or an iPhone 1-2mm thicker that has longer battery life, no protruding camera lens, and no production issues (i.e. they can actually buy one), more than 900 would choose the latter.
Rating: 12 Votes
10 weeks ago

Wasn't Cook supposed to be the expert at this kind of thing? Between the ugly design and the supply issues, I Miss Jobs :(


The design won't be ugly. We haven't seen a finished model yet, but expect it to be sexy. Apple will make it that way. The lines will likely fit well with the metal in the finished product.

It's Apple. Design is core. :apple:
Rating: 11 Votes
10 weeks ago

One said Apple, aiming for the thinnest phone possible, initially wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers, for the 4.7-inch screen, which went into mass production ahead of the 5.5-inch version.

They're willing to torpedo the product over millimeters? :eek:
Rating: 10 Votes
10 weeks ago
How about... Just checking if everything works before mass producing a whole bunch of them?
Rating: 9 Votes
10 weeks ago
If this rumor is true, I presume a second layer would also consume more energy. Thus, you might see this as a cost of an obsession with thinness - delays, and reduced battery life.
Rating: 9 Votes
10 weeks ago

That's brilliant! You should email this to Tim ASAP.

..how people think they are smarter than Apple's best managers and executives.:mad:


Now now marvz, it's quite obvious that the user knows all the ins-and-outs of Apple's supply chain, and isn't making pedantic remarks based on loose rumours. :rolleyes: ;)
Rating: 8 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]