iPhone 5 in-cell screen technology, the reason behind shortage

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Apple’s iPhone evolution is spectacular. Year after year, the iPhone becomes thinner and lighter but more powerful and packed with hundreds of new features. This year’s model, the iPhone 5, is the first to get out of Apple’s traditional 3.5-inch display.

iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen and makes use of so-called in-cell screen technology. Basically, it combines the touch sensor and display into one component making the screen thinner and lighter but a lot more complicated than traditional touch screens. That said, manufacturers were having difficulty catching up with Apple’s demand.

Apple employed manufacturing services of LG, Sharp and Japan Display. Prior to the official launching of iPhone 5, reports suggested that Sharp was delayed in shipping display panels but both LG and Japan Display weren’t. But just recently, both also shared to the media that displays using in-cell screen technology is a lot more laborious than the typical LCD display used in majority of smartphones available in the market today.

The demand is high and production is just normal for these manufacturers, however, the problem lies in the time needed to build the display for iPhone 5. The newly-released smartphone sold over 5 million units in just 3 days and Apple confirmed that its inventory has ran out. In cases like this, it would usually take just a week or two before new devices would be made available for customers who are willing to wait. However, ordering from Apple’s website would suggest possible buyers to wait at least 3 or 4 weeks before their units would arrive. The reason for this is the production of in-cell screens.

Read full report on Bloomberg.

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