Sharp, Japan Display, and Samsung rival LG Electronics are tooling up for Apple iPhone 5S production runs that will begin in earnest in June, according to a report out of Japan.
Ramping up production in June and July will stock Apple’s shelves for a late summer or early fall launch, when Apple typically sells millions of devices in just a few days. That timetable is in line with Tim Cook’s statements during Apple’s last earnings call, in which Cook warned investors not to expect any major new product launches this summer:
“Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014,” he said at the time.
Japan Display and LG have long made screens for Apple’s smartphones, while Sharp was added just late last year as Apple continues to diversify its list of manufacturers in an attempt to ensure adequate production capacity — and to limit reliance on any one particular partner.
The most critical point in the report?
The liquid crystal panel of the next model “iPhone (iPhone) 5” Apple, specification is close to the current and the “iPhone 5.”
In other words, the 5S is the same size and shape as the 5, which means that this particular product is not the iPhone Mini or iPhone Maxi that have recently been rumored. Which doesn’t, of course, mean that Apple is not sourcing components for those potential products from other manufacturers.
According to the report, the factory Sharp will be using has a production capacity of 600 million units a month. Apple will not even need even a reasonable fraction of that, and the factory has been chronically underutilized.
This is good news for Sharp, Japan Display, and Japan in general. Electronics manufacturers in Japan have seen Korean companies like Samsung take their lunch and eat it, too, and have had to cut staff, offload underperforming business units, and cut back expenses.
It’s also good news for Apple fans who are looking forward to some juicy new iTech.
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