Sharp will begin shipping screens for Apple’s new iPhone this month, the company has said.
Suppliers to Apple are generally tight-lipped about their work for the iPhone-maker, particularly before a product has been released, but Sharp president Takashi Okuda let the secret slip at a briefing in Tokyo.
“Shipments will start in August,” Okuda said. He did not give a more specific date, Reuters reported.
Apple is expected to hold an event in September, possibly on the 12th, to announce its new iPhone. It is thought that the company will also announce a mini-iPad at the event as well as upgrades to its iPod range.
The new iPhone is expected to be thinner than its predecessors and have a larger screen, though possibly on a device the same size as the existing model. New in-cell panel screen technology will make possible thinner screens by embedding touch sensors in the LCD itself, eliminating the touch-screen layer in current iPhones.
It has been reported that Apple will drop the familiar 30-pin dock connector from this new model, potentially making current accessories obsolete.
The forthcoming handset is expected to be called simply ‘the new iPhone’, echoing the naming convention for the iPad, which ceased to be identified by version number when it was updated earlier this year.
Last month, Apple blog iMore reported that the company was planning a special event on September 12 to launch a range of new devices. Other publications later reported that their own sources had confirmed that date.
Earlier reports suggested that Apple was working on a smaller iPad with a 7.85-inch screen, compared with the current 9.7-inch screen. The mini iPad will sell for less than the £320 iPad 2 and will challenge the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7 for the market in smaller tablets.
According to Apple blog iLounge, the mini iPad will be released in November. That blog also said Apple was planning a fourth-generation iPad that would be thinner than the current model and would have a rear microphone. It was not clear when Apple planned to release this new iPad.