Apple suppliers are experiencing problems with low yield rates of the in-cell touch panels for the next iPhone.
The iPhone 5 will feature a screen based on a new technology called in-cell that will allow Apple to improve image quality, to provide a better autonomy and reduce component size.
This new technology has to be implemented in screens using a new manufacturing process and it seems that Apple’s Asian partners are having problems in manufacturing these displays.
According to a Digitimes report, Japan Display, LG Display and Sharp are the companies that produce these screens, but only Japan Display manages to produce a one out of two screens without problems.
The site writes:
“Rumors recently circulated in the touch-panel industry have claimed that yield rates of the in-cell touch panels at Japan Display, LG Display and Sharp – reportedly the panel producers for Apple’s next-generation iPhone – are too low to generate profits. Apple reportedly even has offered subsidies – estimated at US$10-15 per panel produced – to the panel suppliers in order to encourage them to produce more and ensure stable shipments after the launch of its 2012 iPhone.
The poor yield rate of in-cell panels is likely to cause certain disruption to Apple’s shipping schedule for the new iPhone, according to the rumors.”
Japan Display has a yield rate of 50%, with the rest of the companies scoring much worse results.
Apple has increased by 10 – $ 15 the price for each touch panel produced by companies.
Even with the promise of a better cost per touch panel, manufacturers cannot meet the number of components set out in contracts and Apple could produce only a quarter of the screens that are scheduled to power the iPhone 5 in the next quarter.
Because of these problems, the launch of the iPhone 5 will bring few devices in shops.