iPhone 5 Production Slowdown Blamed On In-Cell Touchscreen Panels

At the time of its official iPhone 5 release Apple only had 10 million smartphones on-hand. That type of supply would normally suffice for most hardware manufacturers, but Apple sold 2 million units in the first 24 hours of pre-order in the United States alone and ended up handing out more than 5 million units over the device’s weekend launch.

Based on those sales figures, Apple only had a few million iPhone 5 devices left to distribute world wide. Now a report is suggesting that the lack of iPhone 5 supply was caused because there was only a limited number of in-cell touchscreen panels available to the company as production got underway.

Apple is using the new panels because they are thinner and offer better responsiveness, which has led to smaller devices that are more user touch friendly.

When Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the iPhone 5 in a recent launch sales notice, he mentioned that the world’s largest company was not able to keep up with demand for the iPhone 5; at the time, he did not explain why supply was short.

According to Electronista, here is a probably explanation for the delay:

“[The] in-cell touchscreens, which merge touch sensors into the LCD layer, are a relatively recent development and therefore harder to get in bulk. Reitzes is forecasting a “significant ramp” in the amount of panels available in the next quarter.”

Apple has historically been pretty good about catching up to demand; however, with Foxconn workers outright refusing to be pushed into extended hours, the delay could be felt this time more than it has in the past.

Do you think Apple will quickly get iPhone 5 supply issues under control?