Sony replacing Sharp to supply the in-cell touch panels for the next iPhone, TPK shares slide

Sony replacing Sharp to supply the in-cell touch panels for the next iPhone, TPK shares slide
Sharp is having yield issues with its in-cell touch panels for the next iPhone again, as it did with the Resolutionary display on the new iPad. That has given Sony the chance to join LG and Toshiba as an alternative supplier, and the company had seized the opportunity immediately, supply chain sources have indicated.

LG has increased its yield rate to the desired 70-80% in time, Toshiba is expected to reach that mass production stage soon, and Sony is now thrown into the mix too, with Samsung conspicuously missing from the whole picture, which we suspect had been Apple's goal ever since the patent wars between the two companies started.

Sony has reportedly already shipped 50, 000 4" in-cell touch panels, similar to those expected to appear on the next iPhone, to HTC for product development back in 2011. It has reached 70% yield rate with that batch, which has obviously prompted Apple to source it as an alternative supplier until its new darling Sharp gets its production house in order.

Seized opportunity for one is lost for another, though - the Taiwanese from TPK, that supply half of the touchscreens for the iPhone and iPad, don't have an in-cell touch technology ready for mass production yet, so they will be losing a lot of business from Apple now - shares slid 58% last year on that fact, and have more downside to go. 

They were were the first to shop around a touch panel for smartphones that works with fingers instead of stylus, exactly what Steve Jobs's engineers were looking for at the time for the original iPhone. TPK has been offering the product to Nokia and other cell phone makers, which were to fixated on the stylus, but Apple immediately recognized the potential, and entered a partnership with the then-startup company, leading to almost $5 billion of revenue for TPK last year.

source: Digitimes & Forbes

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7 Comments

1. tahnik

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

ehm....Next iPhone: 1. A 4'' inch screen with Retina display... 2.Amazingly thin... 3.iOS 6 That will be all changes and they will be revolutionary.....:D

4. rn9215

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

And if its soo good i will install android in it.....who would want that stupid ios..lol!

2. Phullofphil

Posts: 1822; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Well that and hopfully the phone lookes different in materials and design would be alot actually. But you can expect that it will have hardware that is as go or better in performance than any other phone out there. It might have the same ship as the iPad but that might be an overkill with the capabilities along with the power consumption. But every other iPhone that came after iPads had same chip. I don't expect a super thin phone if there is LTE involved. That complicates battery life.

3. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

All these iphone 5 renders are starting to make the iphone look extremely like android phones which is the best form of flattery.

7. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

you are right. to bad the flattery will turn into a slap in the face when the iphone out sell every Android phone

5. grif_

Posts: 61; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

sony should just buy sharp.

6. lzsbleach

Posts: 155; Member since: May 20, 2012

Sharp is sucking right now but dam Apple feels threatening by Samsung so instead of taking there quality and good performance they would rather look some where else for certain things. Hell u almost might as well call the Ipad 3 a Samsung device with ios in it because all most the whole thing is made from Samsung.

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