By Christian Bautista
Just a few weeks before the expected launch of the iPhone 6 on Sept. 9, Apple’s suppliers are said to be struggling to manufacture enough screens for the upcoming smartphone.
Japan Display Incorporated, LG Display Co. Ltd. and Sharp Corp., the companies that Apple tapped to make the screens for the iPhone 6, experienced production disruptions due to the need to revise some components for the panels.
The production of display panels hit a snag after Apple ordered a redesign of the displays. Two unnamed supply chain sources said that the assembly of screens was stopped during parts of June and July.
For its Sept. 9 event, Apple is rumored to be unveiling two variants of its newest device. The iPhone 6 is said to come in two sizes, one with a 4.7-inch screen and another with a bigger 5.5-inch screen. According to sources, Apple wanted the thinnest screens possible for the iPhone 6 and ordered suppliers to take out a layer of backlight film. Smartphones usually come with two layers of backlight film. However, the panel was said to not have been bright enough, which resulted in Apple ordering suppliers to bring back the extra layer.
The development highlights Apple’s tough stance with suppliers. The company is said to be a demanding customer, and its requests may lead to lower supplies for its new devices.
“Currently, there’s a small shortage in supply of a specialized component for our communication devices,” said a spokesman for Taiwanese Apple supplier Pegatron. “This kind of problem regularly occurs and the impact on production is negligible.”
According to an earlier leak, the company was said to have ordered 70 to 80 million units of the iPhone 6 from its suppliers. The device is expected to be launched alongside Apple’s new iOS operating system. The following month, the company is expected to launch a wrist-worn “iWatch,” OS X Yosemite and its new line of Macs and iPads.
Sources say that suppliers are working to catch up with the delay. It is still not clear whether the snag would push back the launch or cut down the number of units that would be available once the device is launched.