Touch panel production issues to limit initial iPhone 5 shipments?

iPhone 4 multitouch display

Randomly accurate rumor site Digitimes reports that, according to supply chain makers, Apple may have trouble meeting initial demand for the iPhone 5 thanks to a defect discovered in the production process for the touch panels made by Wintek.

A defect has presented in some iPhone 5 touch panels produced by Wintek which may affect the ability to meet initial shipment targets for the launch which is expected in October, according to iPhone supply chain makers.

The defect involves a "delayed bubble" effect which is harder to avoid during touch panel production, especially when the problem isn't found during the laminating process. If the problem isn't found before assembly, Wintek will have to scrap the panel altogether, essentially losing money and output during the production process.

Wintek currently accounts for some 20-25% of the overall production of touch panels Apple uses in the iPhone 5 with Chimei Innolux and TPK Holding pushing out the rest, so the problem shouldn't have a huge impact on volume out of the gate.

Apple running into production issues isn't completely unheard of, either, and Wintek also says to expect a quick remedy due to the fact that the lamination process in the iPhone 5 touch panels is the same as the iPhone 4.

[Digitimes]

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

TKFox007 says:

Why would this be announced now? Didn't they start production around the end of August beginning out September? Or is this some rumor to explain why they think that the amount of iPhone 5s available won't be that much?
You'd think a defect like this would of surfaced a lot sooner.

Iloveapple says:

Iphone4- first had problems with the fucking phone signal!
now? iPhone5- I can not risk to be the screen my next problem.

Bradm73 says:

Well, I had problems with my signal, and I STILL have problems with my damned Home button on my iPhone 4. I hate the iPhone 4's form factor. It looks good, but might as well be a slick fish covered in KY Jelly as it slips from my hand. Maybe during all of his radiation treatments, Steve developed some kind of frog-like grip to allow him to grasp his iPhone 4, I however, have dropped mine countless times and I'm freaking tired of it.

tazh89 says:

dont say the iphone 4 had phone signals...your going to be called a fandroid lol well thats what happened to me last time when i mentioned antennagate.

Tojasonhoo says:

Good point. They're already making iphone4. The screen must be different in some way. Maybe just sensor or camera locations? Maybe more?

Jentino says:

Yup. It's all about raising the hype. Or, this rumor could lower it.
Who wants an expensive phone with panel issue? However, it's just rumor.

Dave81j6 says:

my knee jerk reaction was .. wait, ... im about to spend $200-$300 dollars on a new phone that might have display defect? didn't settle well. forget the hype for a moment. i dont want to be one of the few unlucky ones who actually purchases a phone with a defect.

OrionAntares#CB says:

I think more people would look at it as a "i need to get in line for one or i might have to wait" instead of how you just looked at it. Especially since if a defect presents, as trenen mentioned you have warranty coverage to repair it.

tazh89 says:

very good point...hopefully iphone 5 is released on schedule...if its just the iphone 4s then i would be just as happy with just having ios 5 on my iphone 4.

FlopTech says:

I wonder if Samsung paid Wintek to slow down production...

Carioca says:

That's a pinch from the Himalayas, right? :))

Mrme says:

Better be 4 inch screen or I'm moving to an Android phone.