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View Full Version : iPhone 5S Production Reportedly Limited to 3-4 Million Units in Q3 2013 Due to Fingerprint Sensor Shortages




MacRumors
Aug 12, 2013, 08:44 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/12/iphone-5s-production-reportedly-limited-to-3-4-million-units-in-q3-2013-due-to-fingerprint-sensor-shortages/)


Industry sources have told Taiwanese news outlet Digitimes (http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20130812PD212.html) that production of the upcoming iPhone 5S will be limited to 3-4 million units in Q3 2013 due to a shortage of the fingerprint scanners to be used in the phone. Specifically, the sources cite difficulties in interaction between the fingerprint scanners and Apple's upcoming iOS 7 (http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/) mobile platform.
http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/07/iphone5_image-800x800.jpeg Production of Apple's next iPhone, commonly referred to be the iPhone 5S and is scheduled to be unveiled on September 10, could reach only 3-4 million units in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 10 million units as originally planned due to a delay in production of fingerprint sensors needed for the iPhone 5S, according to industry sources.

Mass production of the fingerprint sensors was originally scheduled to begin in May at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and then to be packaged at Xintec, a TSMC subsidiary, the sources indicated.

However, the production of the sensors has been delayed due to issues related to integration between iOS 7 and fingerprint chips, as well as a low yield rate at packaging firm Xintec, the sources revealed. The report also says that engineers from Apple and TSMC will be arriving to packaging firm Xintec to help increase the yield rate for the fingerprint sensors, with volume production beginning at the end of August. Additionally, the report claims production of the iPhone 5S is likely to then increase to 28-30 million units in Q4 2013 due to the increased supply in fingerprint scanners.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously reported that launch supplies (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/07/22/low-cost-iphone-and-ipad-5-to-ship-in-early-september-with-iphone-5s-to-coming-later-no-retina-ipad-mini-in-2014/) of the iPhone 5S would be tight due to production challenges.

Earlier this week, Kuo stated that the iPhone 5S would feature a sapphire-covered convex home button (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/10/iphone-5s-to-include-sapphire-covered-convex-home-button-with-fingerprint-sensor/) that would house a fingerprint sensor. A report yesterday also indicated (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/11/more-claims-of-iphone-5c-name-iphone-5s-with-gold-color-option-and-home-button-changes/) a new home button as well with its traditional printed square mark being removed to perhaps make room for a fingerprint scanner.

Apple will reportedly unveil (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/10/apple-to-unveil-next-generation-iphone-on-september-10/) the next-generation iPhone on September 10, but it is still unclear whether the event will focus singularly on the iPhone 5S or also include the announcement of the rumored low-cost iPhone, potentially (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/07/28/photo-of-plastic-packaging-with-iphone-5c-name-surfaces/) named the iPhone 5C.

Article Link: iPhone 5S Production Reportedly Limited to 3-4 Million Units in Q3 2013 Due to Fingerprint Sensor Shortages (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/12/iphone-5s-production-reportedly-limited-to-3-4-million-units-in-q3-2013-due-to-fingerprint-sensor-shortages/)



brock2621
Aug 12, 2013, 08:47 AM
What's this guys track record?

SJism23
Aug 12, 2013, 08:47 AM
Please, anyone already with an iPhone 5, don't buy this phone. Let us who will be getting their first iPhone have a chance at owning one. :cool:

inlinevolvo
Aug 12, 2013, 08:48 AM
Until the opening day supple is a 100 million plus units, there will always be delays.

TC03
Aug 12, 2013, 08:53 AM
That's a pretty massive constraint considering the iPhone 5 sold 5 million pieces in the first weekend, and now it's just 3-4 million for a whole quarter? That would be disastrous.

ThomasJL
Aug 12, 2013, 08:55 AM
What's this guys track record?

Ming-Chi Kuo has one of the best track records when it comes to announcing rumors that eventually turn out to be proven true.

ronjon10
Aug 12, 2013, 08:58 AM
Apple is taking a pretty big risk for a feature of dubious value. They can't really afford production delays or problems with the device that this new tech may cause.

SJism23
Aug 12, 2013, 09:00 AM
That's a pretty massive constraint considering the iPhone 5 sold 5 million pieces in the first weekend, and now it's just 3-4 million for a whole quarter? That would be disastrous.

Well, it's not "for a whole quarter." Q3 ends at the end of September, so the 5S would've been selling for probably one weekend or little more.

LostSoul80
Aug 12, 2013, 09:00 AM
Maybe you're missing that we are interested in Q4, not Q3.
And the source is Digitimes.
:rolleyes:

RawBert
Aug 12, 2013, 09:01 AM
Get in line now.

CEmajr
Aug 12, 2013, 09:04 AM
Only 3-4 million would be disastrous for Apple. Didn't the iPhone 5 sell over 5 million the first weekend?

These will be selling on eBay for over $1000 each if supplies are that constrained.

Raftysworld
Aug 12, 2013, 09:05 AM
Anyone else elated by this news? It will only add to the "Wow" factor of the 5S when everyone around me sees mine but can't actually order one themselves

Aidan5806
Aug 12, 2013, 09:07 AM
So I'm confused. Are these production constraints due to hardware malfunctions when used with iOS 7? Or is it a software issue. If it's the latter, then there isn't a reason for Apple to delay the production of these sensors. I'd understand if there were production issues with the hardware, but software issue should be easily fixable. And going from 4 million to 28 million units in one quarter doesn't make any sense.

Rogifan
Aug 12, 2013, 09:12 AM
Wow rumors of production shortages before an Apple announcement. Who couldn't have seen that coming. Just waiting for the WSJ to plaster it on their front page. But AAPL is up almost 2% this morning so maybe these rumors aren't working any more?

----------

Ming-Chi Kuo has one of the best track records when it comes to announcing rumors that eventually turn out to be proven true.

Source?

everything-i
Aug 12, 2013, 09:13 AM
So there is a shortage of a component that they haven't even started volume production yet that we don't even know for sure is going to be used in the phone that for some odd reason does not interface with the new version of iOS. This story makes no logical sense at all, I'm going to call FUD on this one.

lolkthxbai
Aug 12, 2013, 09:14 AM
Please, anyone already with an iPhone 5, don't buy this phone. Let us who will be getting their first iPhone have a chance at owning one. :cool:

Heck no! It's every man and woman for themselves! I'll sell you my iPhone 5 though ;)

Mad Mac Maniac
Aug 12, 2013, 09:15 AM
So I'm confused. Are these production constraints due to hardware malfunctions when used with iOS 7? Or is it a software issue. If it's the latter, then there isn't a reason for Apple to delay the production of these sensors. I'd understand if there were production issues with the hardware, but software issue should be easily fixable. And going from 4 million to 28 million units in one quarter doesn't make any sense.

I think the article is pretty clear that they are talking about production yield rates for the fingerprint sensors. It has nothing to do with iOS 7 or any other software issue. It's simply the difficulty in scaling up this hardware component.

inlinevolvo
Aug 12, 2013, 09:16 AM
Apple is taking a pretty big risk for a feature of dubious value. They can't really afford production delays or problems with the device that this new tech may cause.

I agree. I don't see the value added over typing in my pass code.

BC2009
Aug 12, 2013, 09:18 AM
What's this guys track record?

Ming-Chi Kuo has a good track record and he says supplies will be limited (but aren't they always limited with every iPhone launch except maybe the 4S?).

However, Digitimes (the one putting a number on the limit) has a horrible track record. They contradict themselves from week to week just to keep their rumor credibility rating at 50% (at least one of their contradicting rumors has to be true, right?).

So expect limits, question the actual 3M to 4M units.

In the source link above, Ming-Chi Kuo gave very different projections for shipments of iPhone 5S in 2013:

http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/07/kuoreportiphone5s.jpg

Those numbers are projected final shipments in 2013, but if they only sold 3M in Q3 that would be a tough number to hit (you gotta remember that iPhone 5C will likely sell in boat loads if its basically a plastic iPhone 5 priced like today's iPhone 4).

Mad Mac Maniac
Aug 12, 2013, 09:18 AM
Source?

From my observations on MR the above guy is right. Kuo seems to be pretty accurate. He has predicted many things correctly. The ones that come to mind are the rMBP. He predicted exactly when the 15" would be released, that the 13" would lag a few months behind, and that the cMBP would continue to sell alongside the rMPB.

jglonek
Aug 12, 2013, 09:18 AM
Wow rumors of production shortages before an Apple announcement. Who couldn't have seen that coming. Just waiting for the WSJ to plaster it on their front page.

I was thinking the same thing. We hear this before every product launch and every one turns out fine. Why do we even bother worrying about it at this point?

SwiftLives
Aug 12, 2013, 09:22 AM
I agree. I don't see the value added over typing in my pass code.

Assuming it's only used as a replacement for your passcode.

Why not use it to authenticate personal info? Or to transfer money? I think there will be uses far beyond replacing the passcode.

My concern is how it will be able to determine my fingerprint. I tend to use different parts of my thumb - or occasionally different fingers - to activate my phone. Will it accommodate that?

Mad Mac Maniac
Aug 12, 2013, 09:22 AM
I agree. I don't see the value added over typing in my pass code.

Well the issue I see is with the speed/reliability. If you need to wait 1-2 seconds, or if you need to move your thumb around to get it to read accurately, then I see it being more of a hassle than it's worth.

Asriel
Aug 12, 2013, 09:23 AM
Excellent, so iPhone 5 + tiny extra LED sticker next to flash = lots of money on eBay

everything-i
Aug 12, 2013, 09:25 AM
I think the article is pretty clear that they are talking about production yield rates for the fingerprint sensors. It has nothing to do with iOS 7 or any other software issue. It's simply the difficulty in scaling up this hardware component.

Then why does it say 'specifically' there is a problem interfacing with iOS7. How do software driver issues in iOS7 produce yield problems. This whole story looks very suspect.

PracticalMac
Aug 12, 2013, 09:32 AM
That few? Better chance of winning the Lotto then getting the rumored 5S

Mad Mac Maniac
Aug 12, 2013, 09:35 AM
Then why does it say 'specifically' there is a problem interfacing with iOS7. How do software driver issues in iOS7 produce yield problems. This whole story looks very suspect.

Oh yeah, I missed that bit on the first read. Honestly, that sounds to me like they had difficulties interfacing with iOS 7 initially, meaning they couldn't finalize the hardware design until that was completed. Due to that delay the production ramp up will be slower (well delayed really) than previously expected.

PrimeMatrix
Aug 12, 2013, 09:48 AM
Well, it's not "for a whole quarter." Q3 ends at the end of September, so the 5S would've been selling for probably one weekend or little more.

Does Q3 in business sometimes refer to Q2 in the common world? I think I read something like that on this forum in the last month or so.

phr0ze
Aug 12, 2013, 09:50 AM
I agree. I don't see the value added over typing in my pass code.

Convienience drives people to use simple 4 digit codes which there is software to break in. Fingerprint sensor will lead to a much more secure device as the password can be more complex as a backup.

When it comes to using your phone for purchasing, it's in Apple's best interest to be certain the correct user has the phone for non-repudiation. It also may allow a roadmap to multiple users (think tablets in school) without much complexity.

inlinevolvo
Aug 12, 2013, 09:53 AM
Well the issue I see is with the speed/reliability. If you need to wait 1-2 seconds, or if you need to move your thumb around to get it to read accurately, then I see it being more of a hassle than it's worth.

Yep. This is how it is on consumer laptops, if that is any indication of reliability. I don't see my phone as a payment device, but it is obvious the smartphone will eventually be on par with a wallet in storing more personal info. Right now i like the seperation and I'm not rushed to merge everything into one.

scbn
Aug 12, 2013, 09:53 AM
Ok. I don't care it's 3-4 million or 8-10 million 5S, as long as they also release 5C.

everything-i
Aug 12, 2013, 09:56 AM
Oh yeah, I missed that bit on the first read. Honestly, that sounds to me like they had difficulties interfacing with iOS 7 initially, meaning they couldn't finalize the hardware design until that was completed. Due to that delay the production ramp up will be slower (well delayed really) than previously expected.

If they are actually going to use this thing in the next phone there would have been pre-production samples available for ages and any software problems would have been long since resolved. If there are yield problems at this stage it will have nothing to do with iOS7 which is why I find this story suspicious. Seems to me they have over done the FUD on this one. It's a component that no one has seen yet that isn't due to ramp production for a couple of weeks and some how they blame a problem with iOS7. More likely they have some technical production issues hence the engineers from Apple and TSMC going over to help solve the problem.

PrimeMatrix
Aug 12, 2013, 09:58 AM
Assuming it's only used as a replacement for your passcode.

Why not use it to authenticate personal info? Or to transfer money? I think there will be uses far beyond replacing the passcode.

My concern is how it will be able to determine my fingerprint. I tend to use different parts of my thumb - or occasionally different fingers - to activate my phone. Will it accommodate that?

That's a great question. I was just looking at my prints, and it seems like there is a general pattern connecting them all, but I would totally suspect that you will be able to store multiple print identities, for multi-users, or even multi fingers. Also, I would totally suspect that you will not have to use the sensor at all if you choose not to. Such would be the case for people who wish not "Apple" to "have access" to their prints. :-)
I think you're dead on about the limitless possibilities too to having a fingerprint sensor; I would love to see it implicated in money transfers, so someday I can finally stop relying on my wallet lol.

JGRE
Aug 12, 2013, 10:12 AM
I agree. I don't see the value added over typing in my pass code.

I do, the current home button sucks.

Gus Van Der Mee
Aug 12, 2013, 10:23 AM
Ming-Chi Kuo has one of the best track records when it comes to announcing rumors that eventually turn out to be proven true.

Who has the best?

absurdamerica
Aug 12, 2013, 10:47 AM
I agree. I don't see the value added over typing in my pass code.


It's not just for "typing in your pass code". It's going to replace your apple ID password, it's going to automatically integrate with iCloud keychain to allow you to log into any sites, accounts, or use whatever credit card you want on your device at any time.

It's basically the end to ever needing to remember a password on your device ever again.

avanpelt
Aug 12, 2013, 10:48 AM
If the fingerprint sensor is the biggest "wow" feature of the 5S, I'll pass. I'd rather let Apple work the bugs out of the fingerprint sensor technology with the 5S and I'll get the 6. Until then, using a non-simple passcode will do just fine. The fingerprint sensor could work really, really well; or it could be another debacle where Apple tells you at launch, "the more you use it, the better it will get". Riiiiight. . .

e-coli
Aug 12, 2013, 10:57 AM
Excellent. Here we go again.

IJ Reilly
Aug 12, 2013, 11:03 AM
a new home button as well with its traditional printed square mark being removed to perhaps make room for a fingerprint scanner.

Since when is a product design feature best described as a cultural belief?

Word geek, over and out.

Aidan5806
Aug 12, 2013, 11:16 AM
I think the article is pretty clear that they are talking about production yield rates for the fingerprint sensors. It has nothing to do with iOS 7 or any other software issue. It's simply the difficulty in scaling up this hardware component.

The quote references an issue with iOS7.

Mr. Retrofire
Aug 12, 2013, 11:26 AM
iPhone 5S Production Reportedly Limited to 3-4 Million Units in Q3 2013 Due to Fingerprint Sensor Shortages
I doubt that, because the 5S has no fingerprint sensor.

inlinevolvo
Aug 12, 2013, 11:36 AM
It's not just for "typing in your pass code". It's going to replace your apple ID password, it's going to automatically integrate with iCloud keychain to allow you to log into any sites, accounts, or use whatever credit card you want on your device at any time.

It's basically the end to ever needing to remember a password on your device ever again.

I agree here too though I'm not sure how I feel about my phone being my credit card.

Koodauw
Aug 12, 2013, 11:40 AM
its been a while since we had a good shortage. Since iPad 2 maybe? a shortage could help feed the hype machine.

Carlanga
Aug 12, 2013, 12:03 PM
this means that outside US release will be a few months later, sorry world :)

CodexMonkey
Aug 12, 2013, 12:03 PM
It's ok. I hear Microsoft are also having to constrain supplies of Windows phones due to customer shortages.

sclawis300
Aug 12, 2013, 12:57 PM
Who has the best?

Dalrymple....did I spell that right?

Gus Van Der Mee
Aug 12, 2013, 01:07 PM
Dalrymple....did I spell that right?

Biker dude? What's his take on this one?

abs47589
Aug 12, 2013, 01:40 PM
It's possible that Apple isn't too worried because it wants a consistent/increasing amount of shipments instead for consecutive quarters because in the past it seems as if millions of people buy the new iphone in its first month or two of release and then sales slow down.

----------

I can see it already: fingerprintgate

Tomacorno
Aug 12, 2013, 01:55 PM
But I don't want a fingerprint scanner. I just want to replace my trusty iPhone 4. :(

mdelvecchio
Aug 12, 2013, 02:10 PM
I agree. I don't see the value added over typing in my pass code.

yes, because i cant possibly see why holding a finger over a sensor for a moment would be hold more value over having to enter a password or pin every single time, for prying eyes.

willargus
Aug 12, 2013, 02:30 PM
What's this guys track record?

Digitimes track record completely sucks. Ming Kuo's on the other hand, is very reliable, so not sure if i should believe this article or not.

inlinevolvo
Aug 12, 2013, 02:37 PM
yes, because i cant possibly see why holding a finger over a sensor for a moment would be hold more value over having to enter a password or pin every single time, for prying eyes.

??have you considered turning around while someone is looking? How do you use your debit card at a grocery store?

UnfetteredMind
Aug 12, 2013, 04:48 PM
But I don't want a fingerprint scanner. I just want to replace my trusty iPhone 4. :(

Hopefully they announce both the 5S and 5C at the same time and then you can see which one best fits your needs? This is more or less where I find myself too. Wife needs a new phone as well, the 3g is getting a bit old now :o

SurferPup
Aug 12, 2013, 05:38 PM
Please, anyone already with an iPhone 5, don't buy this phone. Let us who will be getting their first iPhone have a chance at owning one. :cool:

Sorry - I'll be preordering online the moment the iPhone 5S is released. I have been looking forward to the next release for the last three months. I have the latest AirPort Extremes (802.11ac) in preparation of the new model iPhone.:D

damitssam
Aug 12, 2013, 08:01 PM
:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Its quite sad really. Such an incremental upgrade that my expectations for this phone is down in the pits. Iphone 5 was a major letdown, this one is going to be the worst iphone upgrade ever. Period... besides MAYBE 4S (although Siri was a nice leap forward).

No bigger screen with an addition of a LED light and a fingerprint scanner. And you can get one that looks like piss. I am sure that will sell well with the urban crowd.

TC03
Aug 13, 2013, 02:28 AM
Well, it's not "for a whole quarter." Q3 ends at the end of September, so the 5S would've been selling for probably one weekend or little more.Ah yeah, I missed that. Still, 3-4 million is a lot less than the 5 million in 2012.

OutSpoken
Aug 13, 2013, 11:33 AM
Anyone else elated by this news? It will only add to the "Wow" factor of the 5S when everyone around me sees mine but can't actually order one themselves

But it will look just like an iPhone 5 (with possible new home button) therefore most won't be able to tell the difference, so not THAT wow afterall:D

fat jez
Aug 13, 2013, 02:37 PM
this one is going to be the worst iphone upgrade ever. Period... besides MAYBE 4S

I'd say the 4S was the best iPhone made. It fixed all the problems introduced in the 4 with touching the antenna by adding a second antenna that the phone could switch between. It also sorted the proximity sensor which cause the screen to come on mid call that the 4 suffered from.

The 5S, I doubt will be a significant improvement over the 5, unless they've managed to make the 5S unscratchable ;)

heutusops
Aug 13, 2013, 03:15 PM
that's why i've decided to pre-order it, why take risks?:D
it's sure gonna be an awesome phone.