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.
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.