Apple sold five million iPhone 5 units in three days, but the numbers hide the fact that the company is struggling to meet demand. Bloomberg is claiming that demand has been outstripping supply because of a shortage of the ultra-thin display units used in the new phone.
The new iPhone uses in-cell screen technology that rolls together the display and touch-sensitive parts in order to make it thinner. These screens are more labour-intensive to make, hence the problem.
Originally, Apple was working with LG Display and Japan Display to produce the new 4-inch screens. But to ensure production levels remained high, Apple drafted in Sharp's help to make more displays.
According to Bloomberg, however, Sharp has been struggling to meet demand. Reports suggest that the company struggled to fix defects in its screens — the knock-on result being delayed shipments of iPhones and less stock to sell on to consumers.
While shortage is perhaps the wrong word to use with five million handsets sold over the weekend, no doubt it's a problem Apple would like to solve soon. [Bloomberg]