Several major stories about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming iPhone 6 models emerged from various supply chain sources and analysts this week, including rumors about the next-generation devices’ production schedule and launch dates, as well as the usual leaked images of iPhone 6 components. Here are the four major iPhone 6 rumors circulating this week.
1. Has the Launch of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Been Delayed?
The source: For Apple fans that can’t wait to get their hands on a phablet-sized iPhone, the week kicked off with a somewhat disheartening rumor from well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to Kuo’s note to investors obtained by 9to5Mac, several of Apple’s suppliers are struggling with yield issues for some of the key components for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, including the in-cell touch panel and the metal casing. As a result of these production issues, Kuo doesn’t believe Apple can launch the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in September, when the 4.7-inch model is still expected to make its debut.
“We are conservative about 5.5-inch iPhone launching by end-2014,” wrote Kuo according to 9to5Mac. “Even if the product is launched in 2014, it is likely to take place after mid-4Q14, which is later than the September-October of consensus, with shipments being lower than consensus of 15- 20mn units.”
The background: While Kuo has a fairly good track record for predicting hardware components or design elements that will be found on Apple’s future devices, his predictions about the arrival dates of products can sometimes be off. On the other hand, a recent report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News may support his Kuo’s prediction of a delayed 5.5-inch iPhone 6 launch. According to Economic Daily News’ sources, production of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will begin in mid-August, about a month after production of the 4.7-inch model started.
However, this production schedule doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple will push the release of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 into 2015. The staggered production schedule may simply reflect Apple’s expectations that the 5.5-inch model won’t be as popular as the 4.7-inch model and therefore requires less production time before launch.