For months now the blogosphere has been rife with details of Apple’s new iPhone – or iPhones – due in September. Now it seems there will be just one new model, with a marginally larger screen, and no 5.5 inch ‘phablet’ to compete against Android and Windows devices of that size.
Apple is notoriously tight-lipped about its plans. But so large is its supply chain, with so many people involved, that details inevitably leak out. So it has been with the new larger screen iPhones.
The industry has been expecting two new Apple phones – a 4.7 inch version to replace the existing iPhone 5 range, and a 5.5 inch monster to compete against the phone/tablet hybrids known as ‘phablets’. Now credible reports have emerged that we will not see the larger device this year at all. Indeed, we may never see it.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Chinese financial group KGI Securities, who has contacts deep in Apple’s supply chain and who has been accurate about such matters in the past, has issued a warning that Apple is having major difficulties manufacturing the 5.5 inch iPhone.
His analysis, obtained and leaked by Apple Insider, says Apple is having trouble with the touch panels on the screens of both new models, and that in the case of the larger device these are proving too hard to overcome. He says the 4.7 inch version will come out as expected, along with lower priced versions of existing iPhones, but that his best scenario for the phablet is some time next year.
He said it may be announced, with very limited shipments, in November this year. He also said the iWatch is having problems and may also be delayed.
Apple has made its name on cool design, and has already increased the iPhone’s screen size, a little, when it moved from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5. Many in Apple have resisted going even larger, but the company has felt the necessity of doing so with the popularity of larger models from its rivals, particularly Samsung.