Reuters this morning cites sources claiming iPhone 6 production may be constrained following last minute component problems, but as this infographic shows the scale of pent-up demand for Apple's new device suggests sales will be off the charts. So quality counts.
The stage is set
Reuters' sources claim the backlight for the new smartphone had to be revised once its original design was found to be insufficiently bright. Fixing this problem delayed manufacture for two months. Suppliers are now scrambling to meet Apple's demand to produce 100 million units this year.
These sources agree that two iPhone 6 sizes will ship, a 4.7-inch device with a 5.5-inch iPhone to follow. In yet another slap to Samsung, Japan Display Inc, Sharp Corp and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd are making the screens.
Japan Display earlier this month spooked investors when it said orders for a large customer (likely Apple) had arrived as expected but shipments may be delayed to September, which supports Reuters claims.
Stakes are high
The delay underlines the risk of many manufacturers participating in Apple's supply chain -- faults in the final reliability of any component means production across the chain must be frozen while a fix is found. This exposes suppliers to risk.
This is unavoidable of course. Apple has too big a stake in the game and its winning position as manufacturer of the world's most popular smartphone device depends on delivering good customer experiences.
Apple must also be aware that the usual "Apple is dead" brigade will focus on any perceived vulnerability in its leadership, structure or product offering with which to berate Cupertino to please their advertisers.
Apple's suppliers appears to be in full production now:
Digitimes claims IC suppliers are hustling to put together enough of their components to manufacture 100 million iPhone 6 devices by the end of the year. (Despite Apple's target, "most related chip suppliers are building up inventories for the equivalent of 80-90 million units, on concerns that sales may as not reach over 100 million as expected," says the report.)
It is possible the sapphire display may be a premium option. Digitimes Research claims GTAT will supply up to 1.35-2.25 million 5.5-inch iPhone sapphire covers in 2014.
100 million iPhone sales in three months seems a big target, however, with 22.8 million US iPhone users already likely to upgrade and analyst estimates of up to 80 million sales, much hinges on what happens to the new product in the first few weeks.
There has been little chatter regarding the iPhone 5C. Will this be upgraded to become an iPhone 5S in a cheaper chassis?
Will Apple deliver?
As the anticipated September 9 reveal approaches, connected consumers worldwide are already curious to find out if the iPhone 6 will deliver on their high expectations.
Apple faces pressure to deliver on these expectations if it hopes to build and extend its industry leading levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Supply chain partners will be anxious to see if sales hit 50 million or more in the first three critical months -- if they do, then there's a strong chance iPhone 6 sales will exceed Apple's expectations.
And be in no doubt Apple hopes to smoke its imitative competition with this release.
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