Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities as published a new research note claiming that the upcoming iPhone 6 with larger 5.5-inch display is facing production difficulties and could face delays. As a result of production difficulties, the smartphone unveiling will likely be postponed at least until October or possible until next year.
The analyst claims that the next generation production lineup is experiencing shortage of in-cell touch panels supply. The said component is available for 4.7-inch variant in limited supply, and the situation is worst for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 (iPhone air?). Color unevenness on the metallic body of the next generation iPhone is also creating production problems for Apple.
Here’s a part of Kuo’s note to investors:
We think the 5.5-inch model will also have issues with the yield rate of in-cell touch panel and color unevenness of metal casing. Indeed, these problems will likely be even more complicated with a larger size. In addition, from a technical perspective, we don’t expect sapphire cover, used for the first time on the 5.5-inch model, will easily pass the drop test near term. We are conservative about 5.5-inch iPhone launching by end-2014. Even if the product is launched in 2014, it is likely to take place after mid-4Q14, which is later than the September-October of consensus, with shipments being lower than consensus of 15- 20mn units.
Based on these production difficulties, the analyst predicts iPhone 6 shipments to be lower than the originally expected 15 to 20 million units. Despite all these production difficulties for iPhone 6 5.5-inch variant, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model is expected to to be unveiled on time, alongside the public release of iOS 8, Apple’s upcoming major software update to its mobile OS.
Kuo has a decent track record when it comes to make predictions about Apple’s unreleased products. iPhone 6 is rumored to come in two different screen sizes, sapphire crystal display, dual core 2.0GHz A8 processor, NFC and much more. The expected release date of iPhone 6 is in September.