When you’re waiting around for an iPhone 5 to be released — which we have been doing ostensibly since August of 2010 — you look for big, mass production reports out of Asia. While we had a lot of those last year, they turned out to be the evidence of nothing more than the refreshed iPhone 4S. This year, however, we’ve begun to see big production reports matched with purported sightings of iPhone 5 parts. And today, an encouraging report about the iPhone 5′s display has surfaced.
According to Reuters, LG is reportedly churning out massive numbers of iPhone 5 displays, and they are of the bigger, thinner ilk that has been speculated since the onset of the iPhone 5 rumor mill, take two:
Sources have told Reuters that the panels for the new iPhone will be 4 inches corner to corner — 30 percent bigger than current iPhones. The iPhone screens will also be thinner than previous versions with the use of so-called in-cell panels. The new technology embeds touch sensors into the liquid crystal display, eliminating the touch-screen layer found in current iPhones.
If you’re rooting for a larger-screened iPhone 5, then these displays will deliver it, as the current iPhone display measures just 3.5 inches diagonally. But the Reuters piece also brings up an interesting point: “Apple is equipping the next iPhone with a larger screen after Samsung Electronics unveiled its latest Galaxy smartphone with a 4.8-inch touch-screen.” Given the more proportioned screen dimensions of the GS3, that tells me that the rumored 4-inch LG display might very well be the long, lean one we’ve been seeing ad nauseum after all. Granted, the 4-inch display could be a shorter, wider variation — but with all of the purported parts leaks out there, is it time to match up this report with those leaks and assume that the new aspect ratio is a reality?
I’m still not too sure about that, either way.
The Reuters piece also references the rumored September 12th iPhone 5 announcement date:
Apple is planning a major product launch on September 12, stoking speculation that the world’s most valuable technology company will announce the sale of its redesigned iPhone.
Reuters, like everyone else, seems completely comfortable with that rumor and the assumption that, if the even happens, it will be to reveal the iPhone 5. However, their article also tells us the following:
“We just began mass production and we don’t expect any disruption in supplies,” Han Sang-beom, chief executive of LG Display, a panel supplier for Apple products, told reporters late on Wednesday.
His comments were embargoed until early Thursday morning.
It’s intriguing that LG’s chief was not allowed to talk about this production ramp-up until today. Moreover, does it strike anyone as odd that LG is “just” beginning mass production now? if the iPhone 5 is announced on the 12th, then the assumed launch date is September 21st. That’s less than 30 days away. If LG is playing a major role is providing the displays for the iPhone 5, aren’t they mass-building them a bit late, based on the September 12th announcement? After all, we’re not being told that displays are being shipped, but rather that they are being manufactured. After completion, they’ll still need to go to Foxconn for assembly.
Perhaps Sharp is providing the first wave of displays for the iPhone 5, as we did get a report about them getting busy earlier in the month.
But I wonder if it’s possible that September 12th will be an iPod and maybe even an iPad Mini announcement, leaving the iPhone 5 for an announcement in October, like last year? After all, if the iPad Mini turns out to be a “Mini Me” for the iPad 3 — just smaller specs for a lesser price — it could be more feasible that both the iPad Mini and new iPod should share the stage, rather than imagining that the iPhone 5 would be thrown in there as well.
Of course, there still have been no real juicy news bits about the iPad Mini at all. One wonders if the biggest wild goose chase for 2012 will be its pursuit and capture.
By Michael Nace