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As iPhone 5 looms, Sharp's screen production falters

Sharp is falling behind in its production of screens ahead of Apple's product launch in mid-September, according to reports.

Electronics manufacturer Sharp has fallen behind schedule on production of its allotment of screens for Apple, according to Reuters, just weeks before the expected high-profile launch of a new iPhone.


According to Reuters, quoting an unnamed source, Sharp is battling high costs and manufacturing difficulties that have cut into the profit the display maker will make on screen production, and as a result Apple may provide further "financial incentives" to speed up production.

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal it remains "unclear" when the Sharp can start shipping the panels, and whether or not the manufacturing problems may affect supply after launch.

On August 2, Sharp president Takashi Okuda said in a press briefing that the company would begin shipping screens this month for the new product -- heavily rumored to be the iPhone5 -- after being chosen to manufacture the component. The Kameyama LCD plant in Japan is the source of manufacture, and is currently "operational" according to a Sharp spokesperson.

Sharp is one of three suppliers of the new LCD iPhone panels. The others are Japan Display Inc. and South Korean firm LG Display.

Although no official word has been given on the size or composition of the new iPhone screen, Reuters reports that the screen measures 4 inches, a half-inch larger than current displays. In addition, Apple has reportedly increased available screen space by making it taller.

The new screen may also include in-cell panels, which are touch sensors embedded within a liquid crystal display. This would remove the touch-screen layer that current iPhone models possess. Nano-SIMs -- 40 percent smaller than the micro-SIMs Apple employs -- are also rumored to be part of the new package.

Apple's product launch is expected on September 12.

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