iPhone 5S focus of Japan display maker, says analyst

A major supplier of iPhone 5 displays is focusing its production resources on the upcoming iPhone in preparation for the launch expected next month.

Brooke Crothers
Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
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iPhone 5S with redesigned LED flash, according to Japanese site Macotakara.
iPhone 5S with redesigned LED flash, according to Japanese site Macotakara. Macotakara

Japan Display Inc. is gearing up production for the next version of the iPhone, according to IHS iSuppli.

"JDI is focusing on [production] volumes for the next iPhone launch. So capacity is consumed by smartphone production right now leaving little room for other [production] applications," Vinita Jakhanwal, director of mobile and emerging displays at IHS iSuppli, told CNET.

Japan Display Inc. (JDI), formed in April 2012, is a merger of the small and medium-size display businesses of Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba.

The company has been a major supplier to Apple for its iPhone 5 displays and this is expected to continue for the 5S.

Other suppliers for the iPhone include Sharp and LG Display. Generally, iPhone display production is divvied up between JDI, Sharp, and LGD, though the percentages -- out the total production pie -- vary month to month, Jakhanwal said.

JDI has also been a candidate for making the display on the rumored Retina version of the iPad Mini but is focusing its production capacity on the next iPhone, according to Jakhanwal. "They're not likely to be making the Retina Mini displays -- not right now," she said, referring to its focus on smartphone displays, particularly Apple's.

RBC Capital Markets sent out a note to investors Wednesday night about the "likely" mid-September product launch (rumored to be September 10) of Apple's "flagship iPhone 5s and the launch of new mid-range phone (iPhone 5c). In addition, we would look to get an update on new carrier relationship (China Mobile)," analyst Amit Daryanani wrote.

Japan Display did not respond to a request for comment.