5.5-inch iPhone 6 launch could be delayed until 2015 due to production issues

iPhone 6 concept render

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at predicting Apple product plans, is out with another research note that claims the oft-rumored iPhone 6 could be delayed because of production issues. As a result, the smartphone will likely not be unveiled until at least October and possibly not until next year.

According to Kuo, Apple is facing supply constraints on in-cell touch panels for the iPhone 6. The component is already in limited supply for the 4.7-inch model, but the constraints are worse for the 5.5-inch model. Apple is also facing problems with color unevenness on the metal casing.

9to5Mac has shared part of the note to investors:

“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.”

As a result, the analyst claims that iPhone 6 shipments will be lower than the 15 to 20 million units originally expected. The 4.7-inch model is still expected to launch on time, likely alongside the public release of iOS 8.

The iPhone 6 is rumored to have a durable and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal display, 2 GHz or higher dual-core Apple A8 processor, ultra-slim design, relocated power button and more. The smartphone should be unveiled in September.