Apple’s iPhone 5, despite selling 5 million handsets over its opening weekend, still managed to disappoint analysts who were expecting the device to shift between 6 and 10 million handsets, with 6 million units sold being a conservative estimate.
Some of the reason for the so-called ‘poor’ initial sales of the iPhone 5 is being laid at the door of the device’s display tech. The iPhone 5 is the first phone to use in-cell display technology and Apple’s suppliers, LG Display and Sharp, are reportedly having problems keeping up with demand for the screens.
Creating in-cell screens, which combine the display with the touch sensor, is a more painstaking process than conventional screen types and this has led to delays in shipments of the new displays.
Senior analyst at IHS ISuppli Tom Dinges said “This is like the opening weekend for the summer blockbuster movie. They needed to get a lot of products in the door during a tight window, and these supply constraints that were talked about probably did have some impact.”
Bloomberg reports that Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said in a research note that “Apple is facing significant production constraints due to a move toward in-cell display technology. Apple is struggling to keep up with demand.”
However the supply problem is likely to be short-lived. Sharp had been brought on board as a display supplier but, due to defects with screens, has only been able to start supplying in-cell displays after the iPhone 5’s launch.