updated 09:47 am EDT, Tue September 25, 2012
Apple may only have 10 million panels for current quarter
The reason iPhone 5 stocks are so limited is because of the amount of in-cell touchscreen panels Apple has access to, according to Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes. He estimates that the company has had supplies of just 10 million units for the current quarter, which ends in a matter of days. The difficulty is that Apple registered 2 million preorders in a span of 24 hours, and sold 5 million units over launch weekend, which would leave only a few million phones to cover global demand.
In Apple's announcement of launch sales, CEO Tim Cook himself admitted that the company was unable to keep up with demand, but without explaining why. A probable explanation is that in-cell touchscreens, which merge touch sensors into the LCD layer, are a relatively recent development and therefore harder to get in bulk. Reitzes is forecasting a "significant ramp" in the amount of panels available in the next quarter.