August 31, 2012
Sharp Lags Behind In iPhone Display Production
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The next Apple iPhone is expected to be one hell of a device: 4-ish-inch screen, possible quad-core processor and a new, more powerful iOS. However, all of these substantial benefits are completely moot if they can´t be delivered to you with the new, in-cell technology display.
According to those oh-so-cool-and-crafty “Sources,” Reuters is reporting that one of these in-cell display makers, Sharp, has “fallen behind” in the production of next generation iPhone displays. Though no official announcement has been made, Apple is expected to announce their new iPhone in just a few weeks. Such a lag in production could be troublesome for Apple, who has had problems in the past with keeping their new, hotly desired products in stock.
According to Reuters, Sharp is struggling with the high costs associated with this new, in-cell display. The increased cost of making these displays has cut into their margins, and now, some are wondering if Apple will begin to offer “financial incentives” to the Japanese display maker to speed up their production.
The Reuters source, who asked not to be identified, was not able to say exactly how far behind Sharp is in their production.
On August 2, Sharp´s new president, Takashi Okuda said his plant would begin mass-producing these new, cutting-edge displays in their Kameyama plant and shipping them off to their mystery customer.
“Shipments will start in August,” said Okuda in a press event.
When asked for confirmation, Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said Sharp´s central Japanese LCD plant in Kameyama was “operational,” but did not give any further details about output or schedules.
Should this report be true, this will not have been the only time Sharp has seen some hiccups in their screen production for Apple devices. Earlier this year, screen shipments for the new, Retina Display iPad were also delayed by Sharp.
Sharp has seen better days when it comes to their financial situation. According to the Wall Street Journal, revenue has been down for the electronics maker, while many debt repayment deadlines are fast approaching.
With more than $15 billion worth of interest bearing debt, Sharp set out a forecast for this year wherein they are expected to net a loss of 250 billion yen, or $3.18 billion, if their core businesses remain unprofitable. As such, it is critical to Sharp to appease one of their largest customers. Though Apple is on the completely different side of the financial token, it is important for this product release to go smoothly. The iPhone maker is in more than one battle with South Korean company Samsung, and as such need to make a good statement about the new iPhone. A short supply of the next Apple smartphone which is said to have unprecedented demand could leave a black eye for the Cupertino company.
Apple is expected to announce their new iPhone on September 12th, and may release it to customers 9 days later on the 21st.