It's Now Pretty Clear This Screen Is The Reason iPhone 5 Sales Were So Disappointing

The first weekend of iPhone 5 sales were pretty disappointing for Apple.  

Five million units sold might sound like a lot, but it was serious deceleration off of prior year iPhone sales growth and actually marked a decline in units sold per country.

It has become increasingly clear that the reason for the poor sales was not user demand, however, but the tiny piece of glass in this photo.

The iPhone 5’s super thin screen:

iphone 5 ifixit teardown

Photo: iFixit

A new report from Reuters says that Apple has three manufacturers of this screen lined up: LG, making eight million a month; Japan Display, making eight million a month; and Sharp, making six million a month.

This same report, from Reuters’ Tim Kelly and Yoshiyuki Osada, says that Sharp is only now finally up to speed.

That means for the past couple months, the source for more than 25 per cent of the iPhone 5 screens has been behind schedule.

One analyst quoted by Reuters says that almost all the phones sold so far have screens made by LG and Japan Display. If that’s the case, then supply has indeed been severely constrained.

Correction: An earlier version of this post called the screen plastic. Then we called it glass. Both are wrong. By “screen” Reuters actually seems to have meant “display.” I’m not a hardware specialist and I screwed it up. Sorry for the confusion.  

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