updated 11:05 pm EDT, Thu September 22, 2011
Wintek allegedly hit by iPhone 5 screen issue
Apple's shipments of the iPhone 5 might have been slowed down by a defect surfacing in some touchscreens, a rumor maintained late Thursday. Wintek, which normally makes a significant portion of Apple's touch panels, has supposedly had a problem with 'delayed bubbles,' Digitimes said. While not serious given similarity to the iPhone 4 process, the issue can sometimes be found only during the final assembly process, at which point it's too late to fix the panel.
For the iPhone 5, the flaw isn't necessarily a showstopper, the tipsters said. Wintek purportedly makes as many as 25 percent of the touchscreen panels for the new model where TPK makes up to 65 percent and Chimei Innolux finishes the rest. Wintek is expected to fix the problem quickly because of its experience.
As many as 26 million iPhone 5 units could ship in the fall with a few million having moved by the end of the summer. The volume could help avoid any extreme shortages, but any substantial supply issues could affect regional launches or how many are available. Apple has often staggered its iPhone launches from the 3G onwards to control supply until it's ready to expand to other countries.
A flurry of recent case leaks have pointed to a larger screen that might have had touchscreen makers adapt to a new size for the first time. With the exception of the LCD that Wintek, TPK, and others wouldn't make, Apple has always had a 3.5-inch, capacitive multi-touch display.