Apple is facing production issues with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 which could delay the device until late 2014 or even 2015, reports KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
We think the 5.5-inch model will also have issues with the yield rate of in-cell touch panel and color unevenness of metal casing. Indeed, these problems will likely be even more complicated with a larger size. In addition, from a technical perspective, we don’t expect sapphire cover, used for the first time on the 5.5-inch model, will easily pass the drop test near term.
We are conservative about 5.5-inch iPhone launching by end-2014. 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.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 in September. Recently, there have been numerous leaks of what appears to be a sapphire glass front panel for the device. The glass has held up remarkably to various stress tests.
Most of the leaks we’ve seen thus far have been for the 4.7-inch device which may corroborate reports that the 5.5-inch device will be released at a later date. Apple is expected to order iPhone 6 units at an unprecedented level with the company’s first batch numbering at least 68 million units.