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iPhone 6 could arrive later than expected or be in short supply due to screen production

Apple hasn’t officially announced the iPhone 6 but it’s already delayed if such a thing is possible: Sources tell Reuters that screen suppliers are “scrambling” to provide enough displays for Apple to produce its next handset. As a result, the introduction of the iPhone 6 could take place later than expected or be in short supply once the phone is launched.

ipod touch v iphone 6

A pair of suppliers told Reuters of an issue with the display’s backlight in June and July which the organization reported on Friday. That challenge has reportedly been overcome due to a design change: [company]Apple[/company] is opting to keep its two-layer backlight film instead of the thinner single layer it had planned for.

This situation is likely one that Apple faces with each new iPhone, although this year could be more difficult if the company introduces a pair of new iPhone models, not a single edition, which is typical to date. Apple is widely expected to release both a 4.7- and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6. I suspect the smaller phone will be more readily available and sooner than the larger one, assuming Apple does introduce a 5.5-inch model next month.

Why is so hard to make iPhones, at least during the initial production run of a new model? Apple relies on dozens of hardware partners, some making a single important component for the iPhone. The company has to receive enough stock of every little part and have enough inventory for its production partners to actually build the iPhone: Apple contracts that activity out to China-based companies, such as Pegatron.

Put another way: There are many moving parts to the “machine” that builds iPhones: One little hiccup in the chain can, for lack of a better phrase, upset the Apple cart.

5 Responses to “iPhone 6 could arrive later than expected or be in short supply due to screen production”

  1. Hmmmmm…. rumors of the new iDevice being in short supply just before it goes on sale. That’s strange. Oh, no – that’s right. It happens roughly every time a new iDevice goes on sale. Kind of like rumors of how incredible they are spontaneously appearing (I’m looking at you Wall Street Journal) every time a competitor has news in the cycle coming up to a new iDevice release.
    I wonder if the marketing people at iWorld smile to themselves at their cleverness on the commute home every evening or if they are just as bored with it as we are. And by ‘we’ I mean ‘me’ of course because I can’t speak for others. Still, I’d rather not drink alone and am in an optomistic mood.

    • shparekh

      @mike I had the same observation. Maybe one way to create free publicity in form of news when media and people report excessive lines of people trying to get their hands on an product whose availability may have been artificially constrained.

  2. Kevin, you’re one of my favorite writers, but this is just a relay of someone else’s un-named source presented as fact. I’m referring to your first sentence.
    That said, you may be right, but for another reason – The demand, as generally reported, for the next iPhone exceeds even Apple’s previous launches.. by a big margin.

  3. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple Tech and commented:
    With their operational expertise, I doubt they’ll “delay” iPhone 6. It’ll come out when it’s ready. A “delay” can’t happen when they have still not confirmed any event. Internally they may extend their deadlines, but that’s for the good of the company, the products and it’s users. Putting out something that doesn’t live up to their brand can only damage it, even if it’s “on time.”