Look for iPhone 5S pre-order offers to sell out quickly in September and the iPhone 5S to remain in short supply until October thanks to production issues associated with the rumored fingerprint sensor.
This news comes from a Asian supply chain source, which backs up a rumor form Mid-July that the iPhone 5S would be available in limited quantities at launch thanks to low yields of a new fingerprint reader.
One of the iPhone 5S’ major selling points is reportedly a new fingerprint sensor built into a Sapphire coated home button that will integrate with iOS 7 to secure the iPhone and possibly lead the way for a mobile payment system. The iOS 7 beta 4 release included code pointing to a fingerprint reader as well.
If this rumor is true, the iPhone 5S release will likely come with shortages and pre-orders could sell out faster than last year’s launch.
The iPhone 5 release weekend delivered over 5 million iPhone 5 sales and the iPhone 4S release weekend accounted for over 4 million sales. If these issues actually force Apple to limit the number of iPhone 5S units for sale in mid-September it could mean long waits for some users.
iPhone 5S pre-orders could sell out faster than the 1-hour sell-through that happened last year. While Apple kept taking orders, it could not promise a release date delivery for the new iPhone soon after orders started. Apple typically starts iPhone pre-orders on a friday after the announcement at midnight Pacific, which would likely place iPhone 5S pre-orders at September 13th midnight Pacific/ 3 AM Eastern.
The report from DigiTimes claims the issues manufacturing the iPhone 5S fingerprint reader could limit the iPhone 5S Supplies to as little as three to four million iPhones in the third quarter of 2013. A previous report from DigiTimes claimed as many as three million iPhone 5S units would face a delay to the fourth quarter.
DigiTimes is not always accurate, but the publication does deliver some legitimate on Apple rumors thanks to many supply chain sources. This time around they claim that the iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor was supposed to enter production in May, but it issues with iOS 7 and the fingerprint sensor caused a delay and low yields at one manufacturer are compounding problems.
DigiTimes’ sources claim;
“An engineering team composed of engineers from Apple and TSMC has been dispatched to Xintec recently to help ramp up the yield rate for the packaging of fingerprint sensors, revealed the sources, adding that the supply chain will be able to start volume production of fingerprint chips at the end of August.”
This setback could limit the number of iPhone 5S units in stores in September, but predictions point to 28 to 30 million iPhone 5S units in the last quarter of 2013. While the DigiTimes report uses a third quarter that ends at the end of September, Apple’s fiscal quarter 4 ends on September 28th.
If Apple is only able to sell four million iPhone 5S units before September 28th, it could negatively impact Apple’s stock price. Apple’s 2013 Q4 earnings guidance reportedly includes sales of a new iPhone 5S.
The iPhone 5S design is expected to look much the same as the iPhone 5, with a better camera and dual-LED flash as well as a new processor. We expect a similar 4-inch Retina Display. A September 10th iPhone 5S launch event is all but confirmed by an Apple invite and we anticipate an iPhone 5S release soon after.
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