Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo reported on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S with a fingerprint sensor and the rumored lower cost iPhone. Kup specifically noted in his report that the Cupertino company would run into issues when including the fingerprint sensors, particularly with the color coatings on the sensors.
Although Kuo initially claimed a June/July timeframe, he later noted that this time would likely be pushed back to a September timeframe because of the issues. It appears that Kuo was right, with a report from Reuters on Monday noting that Apple’s suppliers are under pressure due to uncertainty about demand for the company’s products. Reuter’s report highlights all of the same issues noted by Kuo, which may create more issues for Apple, particularly in terms of stock price.
Supplier sources in Japan and Taiwan, home to dozens of Apple suppliers, said they initially expected mass-production of the next iPhone to begin in June.
That date may have begun to slip beyond June, the sources said. The phone, widely referred to as the iPhone 5S, is expected to include new features such as a fingerprint sensor. A supply chain source in Taiwan said Apple was trying to find a coating material that did not interfere with the fingerprint sensor, and this may be causing a delay.
In the report, it was also noted that a Japanese supplier has given word that “small-scale production” of screens for Apple’s lower cost iPhone will begin next month, followed by mass production in June. This likely means that the iPhone won’t be released to the public until at least September. The lower cost iPhone is expected to use the same 4 inch screen as the iPhone 5, but will have a plastic casing and will lack a fingerprint sensor. Apple has been under fire recently, with its stock in a tailspin, and increasing criticism of Tim Cook’s ability to navigate the company in the right direction.