According to media reports, the Apple iPhone 5 demand has been quite strong. Three days after iPhone 5 release on the September 21 the shipment has been over 5 million units, Apple said.
But Apple’s component suppliers in Asia indicate that Apple fans may need to wait a longer time before buying the iPhone 5.
The Foxconn labor disputes upgraded last weekend. The Wall Street Journal reported that Foxconn factory producing iPhone in China has labor disputes, but Foxconn denies employees stopping work due to this. Labor rights protection organization China Labor Watch said, in a Foxconn factory producing iPhone 5, as many as 4,000 employees stopped working, resulting in a day downtime of iPhone 5 production line. This is not the first time for Foxconn suffering labor disputes. Labor disputes may affect the production schedule of Foxconn, before the eve of the Christmas sales season, Foxconn is on full capacity to meet Apple’s needs.
Some analysts said the NAND flash memory chips in short supply may cause iPhone 5 out-of-stock. According to China Taiwan area network chip market DRAMeXchange, due to strong demand of consumer electronics manufacturers, in the past few weeks, the NAND flash memory chip prices rose sharply by 11%. Apple purchased NAND flash memory chips from several chip makers, including Samsung, Hynix and other manufactures. However, if it’s in a serious shortage, Apple will be forced to seek other suppliers. Apple has been part of the iPhone 5 memory chip orders transferred from Samsung to other chip manufacturers in Asia. Samsung market share is approximately 40% in NAND flash memory chip, Samsung smartphones and tablet PCs also uses its own flash memory chips.
iPhone 5 display uses a display technology called “in-cell”, which can reduce the thickness of the display. But Asia “in-cell” display suppliers are mainly LG Display, Sharp and Japan Display, who said that the “in-cell” display is more difficult to manufacture than traditional display. For example, Sharp began delivery of iPhone 5 screen from last month. Samsung uses a technology called “AMOLED” (active matrix organic light-emitting diode panel), therefore the “in-cell” display suppliers are relatively less.