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Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) new iPhone 5 can be rather hard to come by right about now. Ordering a new one on the company's website will take up to three to four weeks to ship, and by all accounts supplies are tight. That is indeed the reason Apple sold "only" 5 million units on the device's launch weekend.
Fingers have begun pointing at Sharp as the primary bottleneck, one of three suppliers for the in-cell touch display being used. Apple has also tapped Japan Display and LG Display (NYSE: LPL ) for these panels, and Sharp saw some delays ramping up manufacturing and improving production yields.
According to a recent Reuters report, Sharp says it's now producing "adequate volumes" of its panels for the iPhone 5, which should help Apple's supply situation with the device. CEO Tim Cook has already said the company sold out of its "initial supply" and is "working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone" in a press release.
Expectations of iPhone 5 unit sales remain sky high, so Cupertino needs to scramble to satiate consumer demand for the device. That's especially true considering this is the most aggressive global iPhone rollout for Apple, which launched the device in an additional 22 countries on Friday as well as adding a handful of domestic regional carriers including Leap Wireless' (Nasdaq: LEAP ) prepaid Cricket brand.
That's a lot of iPhones Apple needs to distribute, and the display is one of the most important components. Sharp needs to hurry up and churn out those displays posthaste.
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