Sharp has let slip that the displays it is producing for the next iPhone will begin shipping this month.
Reuters reports that the company’s President, Takashi Okuda, told folks at a press briefing: “Shipments will start in August.”
That means the iPhone 5 – which may just be called the plain iPhone, like the third-generation iPad was – will likely be on target for a late September release.
Apple is expected to unveil the device at an event on September 12th, previous rumours have indicated, so it’s likely the iPhone will go on sale a week or two afterwards.
The major alleged change, however, is a boost to a 4 inch display, and a thinner touchscreen due to in-cell technology, which should in turn make for a more svelte phone.
However, there’s another rumour regarding those in-cell screens, namely that Digitimes’ sources are saying that there are problems on the production side.
Apparently the yield rates of Sharp and other manufacturers are poor, and in fact too low to see a profit. Producing enough numbers of the panel, therefore, could be a challenge, and iPhone 5 stock could suffer as a result.
The prospect of that should help stoke more big queues around the block, with folks desperate to get their latest Apple smartphone fix before they vanish off the shelves.
Apple is apparently offering to subsidise the likes of Sharp when it comes to the in-cell displays, in order to ensure that production flows well enough to meet its launch stock targets. But the situation still sounds shaky, even given that fact.
The long and short of it is, if there’s any substance to what Digitimes is saying, you can prepare for some iPhone stock shortages come the autumn.