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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:47 AM   #1
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Early iPhone 5S Shipments May Be Constrained Due to Poor Fingerprint Sensor Yields




In what has become something of a tradition ahead of Apple's product launches, Digitimes is reporting that the iPhone 5S may see constrained supplies at launch due to poor yields of certain components. In this case, the issues are said to be related to chips supporting fingerprint recognition and the device's LCD, according to industry sources.
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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.
The report also claims that production for the new device was supposed to start in late June or early July, but because of yield problems the ramp-up will be delayed until late July. According to Digitimes' sources, this will result in Apple delaying shipments of three million iPhone 5S into the fourth quarter. Just yesterday, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek had indicated that "small batch production" of the iPhone 5S had begun last month, with mass production ramping up later this month.

In early April, reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that production issues would likely "delay" iPhone 5S into September and that Apple's third quarter would see smaller shipment growth than previously expected.

TruePrint fingerprint sensing technology from AuthenTec
Reuters followed up with its own report in late April, mirroring Kuo's report claiming that production issues would likely result in delay's for Apple's newest flagship device.

However, at Apple's Q1 2013 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook warned that predicting future Apple business based on certain supply chain data was "impossible" because the company has multiple sources for components to account for varying yields and inconsistent supplier performance.

Apple's iPhone 5S is expected to launch sometime in the fall.

Article Link: Early iPhone 5S Shipments May Be Constrained Due to Poor Fingerprint Sensor Yields
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:54 AM   #2
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Lets hope not!
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:54 AM   #3
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I would love for this to show how fingerprint technology can work consistently and efficiently. Removing the passcode would be of benefit for this. Unsure as to what else it might be used for other than that - or verifying similar apps.

There would be constraints no matter what I'm sure. I'm sure they'll manage it well enough.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:57 AM   #4
fullauto
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Liking the print recognition..

Not liking the 5 form factor..

The next 18 months can't come soon enough..
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:58 AM   #5
Woyzeck
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So we waited more than 8 months for the new iMac, just because they were unable to produce the screen that no one was waiting for and now we have to wait for the new iPhone because of a sensor that no one needs. Great.

And in the meantime Samsung and the other Android phone manufacturers roll over the market. Maybe that's not the most promising strategy to overcome a loss in market share.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:59 AM   #6
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I just don't think I follow how anyone could possibly panic over delays in shipments of a product that hasn't been announced with a feature that no one really knows will be included. Who says fingerprint scanning will come on the iPhone 5S? We know there will be a 5S and it will likely be on schedule with all other releases, but doesn't anyone think the fingerprint scanner would be held back for the iPhone 6? That is historically a release that carries even more updates, right?

I always say the "S" of the phones were nothing more than slight improvements to their predecessor. I'm a fan of my 4S, and I'll likely be a fan of the 5S as well, but I'm not sure the fingerprint technology will be included in the 5S.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:59 AM   #7
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Apple needs to get a serious strangle hold on manufacturers because every single launch is plagued by these issues
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:02 AM   #8
litmag01
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Apple needs to get a serious strangle hold on manufacturers because every single launch is plagued by these issues
I totally agree. It seems tough though because a lot of their suppliers also deliver to Apple's competitors and some are direct competitors themselves.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:02 AM   #9
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Apple needs to get a serious strangle hold on manufacturers because every single launch is plagued by these issues
How do we know there is even an issue? This is coming from DigiTimes after all. Not like they have a great track record in reporting anything.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:03 AM   #10
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burglars with scratched fingerprints are really going to have a problem using this device.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:05 AM   #11
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Will they store my fingerprint in the cloud?
I have an over-active imagination that some friends say borders on paranoia, mostly my cat, and can see a hundred different ways this could go bad.

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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:05 AM   #12
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Well, at least it might give Apple more time to work on iOS 7
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Woyzeck View Post
So we waited more than 8 months for the new iMac, just because they were unable to produce the screen that no one was waiting for and now we have to wait for the new iPhone because of a sensor that no one needs. Great.

And in the meantime Samsung and the other Android phone manufacturers roll over the market. Maybe that's not the most promising strategy to overcome a loss in market share.
Just more analyst guesses. You might be better to hold back your angst until Apple actually announces a product .
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:06 AM   #14
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It'll be interesting to see how easily the scanner can be fooled. I remember a mythbusters episode where they fooled the most expensive fingerprint scanner in the world with a photocopy of the finger!
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:08 AM   #15
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Liking the print recognition..

what if apple give your prints to the government ?
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:10 AM   #16
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It'll be interesting to see how easily the scanner can be fooled. I remember a mythbusters episode where they fooled the most expensive fingerprint scanner in the world with a photocopy of the finger!
Yep, my old wintel laptop had a built-in fingerprinter reader; It turns out my college room-mate could log in to my computer using only a portion of his finger (I asked him to try it). I guess we had close enough finger-prints for the AuthenTec software to not care.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:11 AM   #17
Nungster
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Damn it! Damn fingerprint unlocking! I was hoping for patterned swiping, so I can unlock iPhones like I do with all my co-worker's Samsung Galaxies
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:19 AM   #18
Lucamegh
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My guesses:
  • fingerprint lockscreen unlock;
  • fingerprint passwords (that's why they announced iCloud Keychain );
  • fingerprint Apple ID authentication.

I'd personally wait an extra month to get this new sensor. There are too many passwords to remember nowadays.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:20 AM   #19
ThatsMeRight
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Finally a new hardware feature in the iPhone, for the first time since 2010!
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:20 AM   #20
ChrisTX
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While none of us, myself included know what this finger print sensor is all about. It seems rather gimmicky, but let's hope this is some sort of security feature that proves to be useful. Either way, Apple can't afford to have any constraints on their flagship product.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:22 AM   #21
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It's bound to happen sooner or later across all devices / manufacturers, not just an problem. Sad but true.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:25 AM   #22
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Well, at least it might give Apple more time to work on iOS 7
Constraint is not the same as delay.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:25 AM   #23
ChrisTX
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It's bound to happen sooner or later across all devices / manufacturers, not just an problem. Sad but true.
But if I remember correctly, wasn't this a problem with early generation iPods once they introduced Windows versions of the player? Pretty sure Apple was heavily criticized for it then. With over $100 Billion in the bank it seems like now more than ever, they should be able to get a hold of their supply chain a little better.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:26 AM   #24
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Oh my. Another Beeee Esssss story. We are on very fertile ground this year. Ha.

We've seen this story play out under Cook with the iMac 27" debacle. Cook later publically, humiliatingly, admited announcing and then releasing a product with obvious availability constraints was the wrong path to take, but it was a learning experience.

He continued that if he had a do-over he would have waited to announce and release only when adequate supply was available.

So there you have it. Apple is NOT going to release the 5S until adequate supply is available. Now that maybe be only enough supply for the U.S., or U.S. and key European country, not necessary a more complete roll out,but Apple isn't going to get caught short in any given market.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 07:33 AM   #25
ChrisTX
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Oh my. Another Beeee Esssss story. We are on very fertile ground this year. Ha.

We've seen this story play out under Cook with the iMac 27" debacle. Cook later publically, humiliatingly, admited announcing and then releasing a product with obvious availability constraints was the wrong path to take, but it was a learning experience.

He continued that if he had a do-over he would have waited to announce and release only when adequate supply was available.

So there you have it. Apple is NOT going to release the 5S until adequate supply is available. Now that maybe be only enough supply for the U.S., or U.S. and key European country, not necessary a more complete roll out,but Apple isn't going to get caught short in any given market.
While I agree that Apple doesn't want to get caught with it's pants down so to speak. Let's hope you're right here. The last thing they need is constraints of their largest source of revenue.
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