Some iPhone 5 panels have defect, report says

Taiwanese iPhone 5 panel producer Wintek is having some trouble with a "delayed bubble" defect in the upcoming smartphone's screen, a new report claims.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Is the iPhone 5 hard to produce?
Is the iPhone 5 hard to produce? Apple

Taiwan-based manufacturing company Wintek is having some trouble with the iPhone 5 panels it is producing, a new report from DigiTimes claims.

Citing sources, the tech news site reported today that Wintek is finding a "delayed bubble" defect in some of the iPhone 5 panels it has produced. Although the source didn't say exactly what the defect does to the screens, DigiTimes says that it only appears after touch-panel lamination and during assembly.

Wintek is believed to be one of a few companies developing the panels for Apple's upcoming iPhone 5. According to DigiTimes' source, Wintek will deliver 20 percent to 25 percent of all iPhone 5 touch panels, while Taiwan's TPK Holding will produce 60 percent to 65 percent of the device's displays.

Opinions are mixed on whether the defect would affect Wintek's ability to meet Apple's supply demands. DigiTimes' source says it will hurt initial shipments of panels, while Wintek told DigiTimes that it will not. In addition, since iPhone 5 panel production is similar to iPhone 4 production, according to the DigiTimes source, it won't take long to fix the defect.

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iPhone 5 rumor roundup
Taiwan supplier says Apple devices difficult to make
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The fact that Wintek may be having some trouble producing the iPhone 5's panels shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Over the years, manufacturing partners have experienced difficulty making Apple products, as evidenced by the inordinately long delay of the white iPhone.

In June, Terry Gou, chairman of Hon Hai, which owns Foxconn, a prominent Apple supply partner, said that Apple's devices are "very difficult to make."

All this talk of iPhone 5 production, however, seems to leave out two key factors: does the iPhone 5 even exist, and if so, when will it launch?

Rumors have been swirling for months, claiming the company is planning to launch one--or perhaps, two--new iPhones this year. The latest reports say Apple will hold a special event on October 4 to unveil the iPhone 5.

However, as it has done in the past, Apple has stayed tight-lipped on its plans, deciding instead to let the rumor mill continue to churn out reports.

If and when the iPhone 5 launches, it's expected to make a splash. Apple plans to ship between 25 million and 26 million iPhone 5s in the fourth quarter, DigiTimes' sources say.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on the DigiTimes Wintek report.