Jeffries analyst Peter Misek has noted that the much rumored 4.8″ iPhone won’t be launched until mid 2014 due to manufacturing issues.
A 4.8″ iPhone has been the subject of a lot of speculation amidst strong sales of similar sized Android phones, and some rumors indicating that Apple could launch the device as soon as June this year.
Misek says that Apple had originally planned to launch the 4.8″ iPhone at the end of the year, but had to reschedule because of yield issues with the larger display:
We think in- cell is having difficulty ramping to 4.8”, which is making Apple look at switching to on-cell (a different integrated touchscreen technology) and OLED (despite Apple’s suppliers being well behind Samsung in their OLED capabilities) or IGZO.
Apple had switched to in-cell displays with the release of the iPhone 5, but had faced a number of issues while ramping up production to meet demand. We doubt the company plans to switch to OLED displays since just a day ago, CEO Tim Cook took a dig at OLED displays. This leaves IGZO as the only other option, for which Apple has been in talks with Sharp since quite sometime.
Misek also believes that the processors used in the 4.8″ iPhone would use the 20nm process, skipping the 28nm process from the current 32nm A6 chip. This will enable the company to add more cores (4, or even 8) to the processor, but manufacturers like TSMC would take time to ramp production and iron out yield issues. He adds that for utilising the extra cores, iOS would need a major re-architecture, which would also take time.