Flaw in iPhone 5 Touch-Panels to Affect Shipments - Report

Wintek experiencing difficulties in assembling screen panels for new Apple handset

Sources in the iPhone supply chain are reporting that Apple-partner Wintek is experiencing troubles with the touch-panels destined for the iPhone 5, a drawback that may affect the initial shipment.

Described as a “delayed bubble” by iPhone supply chain makers, the defect is hard to notice before it’s already too late. It generally shows up only after the lamination process of the touch panels, according to Digitimes.

However, the negative impact of this discovery is expected to be minimal. The reason basically has to do with the fact that the manufacturing process is identical to the one used for making iPhone 4 panels.

Wintek is expected to eliminate the flaw quickly, according to the sources cited in by the Taiwanese publication.

Another reason why the iPhone 5 will experience only minimal shipment constraints is Apple’s choice to have multiple suppliers for a single iPhone part.

In the case of the iPhone touch panels, Wintek accounts for only 20-25 percent of the total production, the sources said.

Taiwan-based TPK Holding produces a substantial 60-65 percent of the panels used in Apple’s iPhone 5. Chimei Innolux makes up for the remainder.

Finally, the sources said that Apple has a target shipment of 25-26 million units of iPhone 5 in the fourth quarter.

Revealed earlier this week by All Things D, Apple is said to be preparing for an October 4 event for the launch of the fifth-generation iPhone.

The event, if confirmed, will also witness the introduction of iCloud (Apple’s replacement service for MobileMe), and iOS 5, the latest version of the mobile operating system powering iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch players.

Analysts and pundits alike expect the Cupertino, California technology giant to introduce not one, but two different iPhone models this time around, including one iPhone 4S that reportedly caters to the mid-tier customer base.


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