updated 09:31 am EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
Mass production of two parts may only start at end of July
Manufacturing problems are affecting the amount of iPhones Apple will have in time for September's iPhone 5S launch, sources tell DigiTimes. Suppliers are reportedly getting poor yields of fingerprint recognition chips and integrated circuits for LCD drivers. Mass production of both parts was supposed to have started at the end of June or in early July, but is now believed to have been pushed to the end of July, mirroring claims by Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek. If accurate, the sources' claims could be the first confirmation that the 5S uses fingerprint recognition.
The sources add that the fingerprint chip problems are related to a design by AuthenTec, which Apple bought out last year. Actual manufacturing is allegedly being handled by TSMC, while packaging is in the hands of Xintec.
It's estimated that about 3 million iPhones could be pushed into the fourth quarter. While not a major problem for Apple, it might make it harder than usual to secure an iPhone at launch.