Tight iPhone 5 Supplies Linked to In-Cell Display Technology

iphone 5 displayWhile Apple set a company record by selling over five million units of the iPhone 5 during the device's launch weekend, it clearly could have sold even more if supplies had been available. Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 sold through the company's launch day stocks in just about an hour, and shipping estimates for new orders have been sitting at 3-4 weeks since soon after pre-orders began.

Bloomberg reports that Apple's tight supplies at launch are a result of the new in-cell technology being used for the iPhone 5's display. The technology integrates the touch sensors directly into the display rather than adding them as a separate layer, allowing for thinner displays.

Apple used the technology in the first major iPhone overhaul since 2010 to make the device more svelte, an attribute that helped lure a record 5 million buyers in three days. Yet producing in-cell screens is also more painstaking than earlier screen types, contributing to bottlenecks.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously noted that shifting to in-cell technology would simplify and shorten the display manufacturing process, but low yields of the new implementation have challenged Apple's supply chain partners' efforts to meet demand. Although LG and Japan Display were able to ramp up production, Sharp experienced the most significant difficulties and only began mass shipments of the display into the supply chain two weeks ago.

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Top Rated Comments

swarmster Avatar
153 months ago
But...but...

All they did was make the screen a little taller! Now you're telling me its the highest quality smartphone screen ever and implements innovative, cutting edge technologies? And that's just the changes they made to the display?

Sorry, but I prefer willful ignorance.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mono1980 Avatar
153 months ago
Supplies are always tight at product launches. Apple never learn!

Yes, because it's so easy to coordinate supplies for millions and millions of devices that are needed at the same time. Apple is the best in the world at this.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gregwyattjr Avatar
153 months ago
But damn do those screens look good.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CrAkD Avatar
153 months ago
Tight supplies? Everytime I watch the news they tell me the iPhone 5 was a disappointment why would supplies be tight?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSee Avatar
153 months ago
Is five million devices ready for launch a tight supply?

Bloomberg reports that Apple's tight supplies at launch are a result of ...
... not in-cell displays but overwhelming demand.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kissaragi Avatar
153 months ago
I hope that I'm missing some sarcasm.

unfortunately for him there probably is no sarcasm there..

The new display is fantastic, its noticeably better than my iphone 4.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)