The iPhone 6 release window has seemingly narrowed thanks to a new rumor that claims that production of the new TouchID sensors for the upcoming 2014 iPhone won’t begin until the second quarter of the year.
Over the last few weeks, iPhone 6 rumors have emerged on a fairly consistent basis, hinting at launch dates and features alike. Launch date rumors have unfortunately spanned across 2014, ranging from May to the fall, the latter of which being the launch window Apple used with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4s.
A new report aims to narrow the launch window a little bit further. According to Digitimes, a hit-or-miss publication that publishes rumors based on supply chain information, Apple’s production of the TouchID sensors for its next-generation iPhone won’t begin until the second quarter of this year.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reportedly will begin producing fingerprint sensors for Apple’s next-generation iPhone at its 12-inch fab using a 65nm process in the second quarter of 2014, according to industry sources.
However, in order to ensure the yield rates of the new fingerprint sensors, TSMC is also expected to handle the backend wafer level-chip scale packaging (WL-CSP) process in house, instead of subcontracting the packaging process to IC backend service firms as done previously, the sources revealed.
If true, it means that production likely won’t start until April, May or June. That seems to rule out a surprise launch in the beginning of the year and it makes rumors of a launch in May seem less likely than they already did. The timing could also mean that the company is looking to get a head start on the iPhone launch. It also means that production should be more efficient as the company used 8-inch fabs with the iPhone 5s.
Apple’s TouchID sensor was blamed, at least in part, for some of the supply woes that the device encountered shortly after it was released back in September. By starting production earlier, and on a bigger fab, there is the potential to eliminate these production issues for the upcoming iPhone 6.
The company’s iPhone 6 is rumored for an arrival in the summer or the fall. The company historically has launched its iPhone in the summer or fall with previous iPhone releases coming in July, September and October. The timing of the production here suggests that the company might be looking to launch within the same windows.
Apple’s new iPhone is rumored to be coming with a larger screen, perhaps around 4.8-inches in size, and it’s also thought to be coming with an 8MP camera sensor, with improvements.
The new device will have to contend with a number of big name devices including the Samsung Galaxy S5, a device that is thought to be coming by April in both plastic and metal.
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