iPhone 5 Screens to Start Shipping to Apple: Sharp

Sharp's president says screens for the new iPhone are to start shipping this month, but offers no other details.

As anticipation builds for the impending release of Apple€™s latest iteration of the popular iPhone smartphone, generally referred to as the iPhone 5, electronics manufacturer Sharp let slip that the company is preparing to ship the screens for the handset this month, Reuters reported. Sharp president Takashi Okuda revealed the information during a Tokyo press conference concerning the company€™s quarterly earnings report. "Shipments will start in August," Okuda was reported as saying, without elaborating on specific dates.

The latest iPhone€™s enlarged screen is the subject of much speculation, with rumors suggesting the screen will be bumped up to 4 inches from the current 3.5-inch screen found on every model of the iPhone since its debut in 2007. As competitors like Samsung debut new Google Android smartphones with increasingly large displays€”Samsung€™s Galaxy S III boasts a 4.8-inch a high definition (HD) display with a 1280x720-pixel resolution€”Apple needs to wow consumers with the new iPhone, which is expected to be released at a special press event Sept. 12.

Aside from a larger screen and thinner body, the new iPhone is expected to offer a host of updated features, including the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6, announced during the company€™s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June. The handset is likely to offer other enhanced features to better compete with Android smartphones, such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), near-field communication (NFC) capabilities and a faster quad-core processor.

The most controversial feature is a redesigned connector dock that could render accessories for previous versions of the iPhone obsolete, a move that has angered some Apple diehards. On Wednesday, the Mac-centric blog iLounge quoted two unnamed sources claiming the new dock would be an 8-pin dock and not a 19- or 16-pin connector that previous rumors had indicated. €œThe male connector has 8 pins on each side, while the female connector has only 8 pins on one side,€ the article said. €œThis enables the iPhone/iPod/iPad (with female port) to connect to either side of a male cable or docking plug.€

While in the midst of a battle for smartphone dominance, Apple and Samsung are also embroiled in a heated patent dispute, with the iPhone maker alleging Samsung outwardly infringed on many of its patents in Apple's iPhone line to incorporate the same ideas in Samsung products. In turn, Samsung contends the contested technologies were designed before the arrival of the iPhone, and says Apple is trying to prevent marketplace competition by leveling unfair patent charges at rival companies. Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung for alleged infringement of its smartphone patents, Fortune reported this week.