Most of us are expecting Apple to announce its new iPhone 6 lineup in September. Historically, that’s been the month that Apple has used for iPhone launches over the last three years, and most of the rumors we’ve seen lately also agree with that prediction. Most of these rumors also indicate that both the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch variant will be launched at the same time, but some new credible sources think otherwise.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has gained a lot of fame over the last couple of years for some Apple-related predictions, though not all of them being correct. In a statement today, KGI claims that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 won’t be ready for a September launch. The report mentions that there are issues with the in-cell touch panel, in addition to the sapphire display not being sturdy enough to help the device survive a drop test, and some coloring issues with the metal casing. This could push the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 to not launch until later this year, or 2015 if necessary. The report reads:
“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 has a lot of internal pressure to deliver a larger iPhone this year. It’s hard to tell if these reports will mean a delay in its announcement, or significant restraints in shipments, but we’ll keep you posted as more rumors develop.