iPhone 5 Screens Shipping Soon, Says Sharp

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Sharp president Takashi Okuda said that panels will begin to ship next month, bringing a glimmer of hope to investors.

Apple might as well fess up now and admit that its iPhone 5 — or whatever the gadget will be called — is on the way in September. The cat is out of the bag, and now even Japan’s Sharp Corp. is admitting to some degree that the highly-rumored iOS smartphone is on the way. The admittance was offered up to the press in Tokyo on Thursday after the company released its latest quarterly earnings.

“Shipments will start in August,” Sharp’s new president, Takashi Okuda, said. He reportedly declined to give a more specific date for shipments beyond that point, nor did he actually comment on Sharp’s relationship with Apple. But as Reuters states, these screens are widely known to be headed for the new iPhone.

The other two suppliers of the panels are LG Display Co Ltd and Japan Display Inc.

As reported earlier, Apple is supposedly revealing the new iPhone 5, the iPad Mini and new iPod devices on September 12. The phone itself is supposedly slated for a September 21 release, and so far there’s no word of when exactly the rumored 7-inch iPad tablet will hit retail shelves although there’s talk it may hit the market at the same time.

The latest smartphone will reportedly come packed with 30-percent larger screen than the current iPhone. measuring 4-inches from corner to corner. Its closest competitor, the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S III, sports a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2.

The iPhone 5’s screen will also reportedly be thinner than previous versions, using in-cell panels. This technology embeds touch sensors into the liquid crystal display itself, eliminating the touch-screen layer used in the current iPhone models. The phone will reportedly be thinner overall and sport a metal back.

Okuda’s mention of the iPhone 5 display shipments was believed to serve as a distraction from Sharp’s “disappointing” quarterly earnings. The company reported a fiscal first quarter loss of around $1.76 billion, and a plan to eliminate 5,000 jobs by the end of the fiscal year (March 2013). The company now projects a $3.18 billion loss for the fiscal year ending March 2013, up from a previous estimated loss of around $382 million.

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