Apple reportedly now has a third company supplying displays for its new iPhone.
Sharp kicked off mass production of iPhone 5 display panels earlier this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. Citing "a person with knowledge of the situation," the Journal said that the electronics company just started shipping the panels to Apple after a delay of several weeks.
Sharp was struggling to ramp up production of the screens for the new iPhone but fell behind in August, according to Reuters. The company is in the midst of severe financial problems and reportedly had to mortgage several factories, including one that was making screens for the iPhone 5.
The displays shipping to Apple are being made at Sharp's factory in central Japan, the Journal said. Sharp now officially joins Japan Display and LG Display as the third screen supplier for the iPhone 5.
On August 2, Sharp president Takashi Okuda said that the company would start shipping displays for Apple's upcoming iPhone during the month. But the production delays apparently put a crimp on those plans.
Apple upped the screen size for the new iPhone to 4 inches from the previous 3.5 inches. The new screen is also thinner due to the in-cell display technology, which combines the touch sensors directly with the LCD.
Changes like these often put added strain on manufacturers to mass produce enough parts to satisfy demand.
Assuming the report is accurate, Apple should be breathing a little easier. If some projections hold true, the company will face much heavier demand for the iPhone 5 than it has for previous models.
CNET contacted both Apple and Sharp for comment and will update the story if we receive further information.