iPhone 5 Could Face Supply Problems, Due To Sharp Screen Delay [Report]

Apple’s iPhone 5 is facing a potential supply problem with reports that Sharp has experienced delays in mass production o displays for the highly anticipated next generation Apple smartphone.

Sharp’s intention was to begin large scale production and shipping of the new iPhone display panels in August, but an insider has disclosed that unspecified manufacturing problems have reportedly delayed that timescale, reports Slash Gear.

The reported Sharp screen delay leaves just two of Apple’s three suppliers actually delivering their components on time. Both LG Display and Japan Display Inc have started their shipping to Apple, according to the source. Meanwhile, Sharp still has not given an estimated date for when its deliveries will start.

If the delay proves to be true, it could prove embarrassing both for Sharp, as well as Apple product manufacturer Foxconn, who recently announced a significant investment in Sharp Display.

Sharp’s President Takashi Okuda commented on August 2 that his company would start mass production and shipments from Kameyama LCD plant in central Japan this month, but it seems that Okuda’s comment has not proved true, according to Reuters. Instead, the facility that is widely thought to make screens for Apple (though Sharp has not confirmed Apple as a customer) has not yet started production.

Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said that the Kameyama plant “is operational,” but refused to give any details on output or shipment levels from the facility.

Apple is planning a major product launch on September 12, which many believe will be the iPhone 5, and possibly an iPad Mini, though no confirmation of either has been made yet. The new iPhone screens are expected to be thinner than previous ones, as well as 30 percent larger than other iPhones.

The iPhone 5 screen is expected to use in-cell panels, meaning that the touch sensors are embedded into the liquid crystal display, eliminating the need for the touch-screen layer found in the current iPhone model.