The folks over at DigiTimes are reporting that the iPhone 5S may see constrained supplies at launch due to poor yields of certain components. In particular, the issues are said to be related to chips supporting fingerprint recognition and the device’s LCD according to the publication’s industry sources. The following was mentioned by DigiTimes regarding the matter:
The fingerprint recognition chip is designed by AuthenTec, of which Apple acquired for US$356 million in July 2012. Issues related to the original design of the chip reportedly caused the lower yield rates, claimed the sources, adding that Apple outsources the production of the fingerprint recognition chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and the packaging of the chips to Xintec.
Previously both KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Reuters both claimed that production issues would likely result in a delay for Apple’s newest flagship device. However, at Apple’s Q1 2013 earnings call, Tim Cook warned that prediction future business for Apple based on supply chain data was “impossible” as the company has multiple sources for components to account for varying yields and inconsistent supplier performance.
We’ll have to wait and see how things turn out. What we do know is Apple’s iPhone 5S is likely to launch sometime in the fall.