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Old Aug 12, 2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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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 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 mobile platform.
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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 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 that would house a fingerprint sensor. A report yesterday also indicated 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 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 named the iPhone 5C.

Article Link: iPhone 5S Production Reportedly Limited to 3-4 Million Units in Q3 2013 Due to Fingerprint Sensor Shortages
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 08:47 AM   #2
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What's this guys track record?
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 08:48 AM   #4
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Until the opening day supple is a 100 million plus units, there will always be delays.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 08:58 AM   #7
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:00 AM   #8
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:00 AM   #9
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Maybe you're missing that we are interested in Q4, not Q3.
And the source is Digitimes.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:01 AM   #10
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Get in line now.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:05 AM   #12
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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
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:07 AM   #13
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:12 AM   #14
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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?

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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?
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:13 AM   #15
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:14 AM   #16
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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.
Heck no! It's every man and woman for themselves! I'll sell you my iPhone 5 though
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Aidan5806 View Post
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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:16 AM   #18
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:18 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by brock2621 View Post
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:



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).
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:18 AM   #20
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:18 AM   #21
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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?
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:22 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by inlinevolvo View Post
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?
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:22 AM   #23
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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.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:23 AM   #24
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Excellent, so iPhone 5 + tiny extra LED sticker next to flash = lots of money on eBay
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 09:25 AM   #25
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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.
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