TrendInsider recently learned that two manufacturers from Korea and Japan will be shipping LCD panels to Apple’s OEM partners beginning from July and August. The total number of panels shipped, on the whole, appears to be relatively small, and is not expected to increase until September or October. It is predicted that for the two following months, the number of panels provided by the three major manufacturers will end up being approximately 10 million units. If we were to add that to the existing panels from July and August, the total iPhone 5’s released in 2H12 will probably only hit 30 million units. Compared to the originally predicted 40-50 million units, the new figure is a lot lower than expected.
For now, it is very likely that there will only be a limited number of iPhone 5’s available when Apple announces the new smartphone. This is not necessarily the result of the end market consumer effect or the anticipated craze towards newly released Apple products. Factors such as Apple’s decision to use new in-cell technology, along with a variety of other component shortage issues, are also expected to limit the initial number of iPhones released.
Regarding the iPad Mini, TrendInsider has noticed that even though the tablet is cruising relatively smoothly throughout the production stage, the number of components received during August and September will not be particularly high, and may only be around 30 million units. Given this situation, it is predicted that upon mass release, the total units of iPad Minis will probably be less than that of the new iPhone.
Taking into account the fact that Apple’s two new products use components that sometimes overlap with one another and that the Cupertino firm is implementing various new hardware designs, a number of manufacturers have begun to also place a greater emphasis on production yield and manufacturing cost. In a way, this is likely to create an interesting new dynamic between buyers and suppliers following the release of Apple’s new iPhone and iPad Mini.
At the moment, TrendInsider believes one of Apple’s greatest weaknesses to be the time it takes to complete the design and production phase, which is evident in Apple’s habit of releasing only one new handset per year. This, in a sense, has made the 4-inch size of the new iPhone somewhat less remarkable than it could have been, given the number of 5-inch phones that already exist in the market. There is no denying, though, that the new screen size is a lot more impressive than that of the 4S.
Whatever happens, the release of the new iPad and iPhone should help us find out whether the new generation of Apple products are worthy of future consumer attention, and the whether Apple has what it takes to exceed expectations in the post-Steve Jobs era.