It has not even launched yet but the iPhone 6 is already causing a few headaches for the fruity purveyor of expensive toys, Apple.
Word on the street is that Apple cannot get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone because at the last minute it needed to redesign a key component.
The product was due to be announced next month and would be Apple’s first significant product launch in a while. The tame apple press are calling the problems a “hiccup” and are uncertain if this could delay the launch or limit the number of phones initially available to consumers.
Two supply chain sources said display panel production suffered a setback after the backlight that helps illuminate the screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July.
Apple, wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers, for the 4.7-inch screen, which went into mass production ahead of the 5.5-inch version.
But the new configuration was not bright enough and the backlight was sent back to the drawing board to fit in the extra layer, costing precious time and temporarily idling some screen assembly operations.
A delay however would be a nightmare for Apple which wants larger-screen iPhones for the year-end shopping season to match those of its much cheaper rivals.
This is the second time that the iPhone 6 has had problems with its screen. Earlier there were reports of another screen technology problem, since resolved, in making thinner screens for the larger iPhone 6 model.
The fruity cargo cult is planning one of its Nuremburg rallies for the faithful in Cupertino on September 9. At this event many of the US’s finest technology writers are enthusiastically willing to sacrifice any shred of credibility they may have by standing up and cheering when Tim Cook releases a product which is more or less the same as everything else on the market.
Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone 6 with both 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch screens – bigger than the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5s and 5c, but about industry standard for Android phones.
A shortage of workers in China could cause a shortage in notebook shipments for the month of October, according to a report.
As the holiday season approaches, it is expected, according to sources in the supply chain, that a wider gap could occur later in the month.
China’s National Day holidays has seen factory workers go back to their home towns, but it’s suggested many never came back.
Unfulfilled September orders, Digitimes reports, were postponed to October, but client orders in October are similarly as short as September. Suppliers are struggling to meet demand.
Touch screens could be facing an oversupply as it emerges shipments for notebooks will be lower than expected in Q3 – despite the predicted quarterly growth.
Digitimes reports that top tier vendors like Innolux and BOE, as well as other vendors in China and Taiwan, are expected to expand their production through Q3 and into early 2014, threatening oversupply in the market.
According to Digitimes’ industry sources, 4.3 million square metres of panel surface ar expected to be manufactured in 2014. The penetration rate for the screens in notebooks should rise throughout the year.
But for 2013, it’s possible the oversupply will be three times higher than the 2.3 million square metres actually needed, which could have a domino effect on pricing. The penetration rate is going to sit at a dismal 10 percent for 2013.
The report does not bode well for the Windows 8 touch screen – with little market interest already, one thing Microsoft needs like a hole in the head is pricing problems in the supply chain for Win 8 manufacturers.
Supply chain whispers in Taipei assert that Apple is on schedule to gets its next generation, 9.7 inch iPad out for September.
The iPad mini, meanwhile, may be tinkered with to improve the specs and make it more appealing.
Digitimes thinks the 9.7 inch tablet will sport a slimmer bezel design to make the viewing area larger, with improved battery and half the LED tubes. Upstream suppliers, Digitimes’ sources say, are done with the preparation so last minute spec updates are unlikely. A slimmer bezel would be more in line with Samsung and HTC smartphone designs.
The rumour is suppliers haven’t had word from Apple on the amount they should put out just yet are are shipping for pilot productions, but that will be able to meet initial launch demand. Shipment estimates are expected early August at the latest.
Apple, the sources say, is pondering whether or not it wants to bung a retina display on the 7.9 inch iPad mini. If so, this could lead to delays.