German Wireless Carrier And Verizon Virtually Confirm New iPhone Ship Date, But There Could Be Supply ShortagesPosted by CharlesMoore on Friday Aug 24, 2012 Under iPhone 5 News, iPhone 5 Predictions
The German mobile service carrier, Mobilecom Debitel has dropped some broad hints about the immanence of a major new smartphone announcement, posting on their site (Google machine translation):
“The New Smartphone
Stay up to date! We will inform you about news on the new smartphone.
And … what can the new smartphone be?
Is it the summer temperatures, or is it the heat from the rumor mill, which can increase the temperature curve of the fans? Coming soon, in the late summer, a new smartphone; the world eagerly awaits all…
The new smartphone special surprises? Perhaps a bigger screen of 4 inches or a thinner cell touchscreen? The world expects a faster processor or higher graphics performance? Maybe even a memory of 1 GB? It will be exciting …
Meanwhile, citing sources at TechCrunch, ZNet’s Jason D. O’Grady notes in his The Apple Core blog that Verizon Wireless has imposed an all-staff vacation blackout from Friday, September 21 through Sunday, September 30, which would be consistent with the new iPhone announcement and release timeline predicted by iMore’s René Ritchie earlier this month, that has Apple’s new iPhone announcement/media event falling on Wednesday, September 12, with pre-orders to begin immediately after, followed by shipping and retail availability beginning Friday, September 21.
However, while presumably Apple will have stockpiled as much product as is possible by Sept. 21, rumors persist of a likelihood that they won’t be able to balance anticipated demand with ample supply due to component production yield issues. We’ve previously noted here reports from Digitimes’ unnamed moles in Apple’s upstream supply chain that yields of new in-cell display panels for the new iPhone have been far lower than was hoped, although there are now reports that LG and Sharp are finally getting their in-cell panel production into gear.
Nevertheless, Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Steve Shen noted this week that projected shipments of a new iPhone in the third quarter of 2012 are still likely to fall below 15 million units, compared with the 20 million units forecast previously, due to low yield rates in the production of not only the in-cell touch panels, but also of the new (8-pin?) iPhone Dock connectors, again according to unnamed sources in Apple’s supply chain.
Chao and Shen report that not only do the previously-cited issues related to poor yields of in-cell panels have potential to disrupt Apple’s shipping schedule for new iPhones, the latest rumors are suggesting that yield rates of the new Dock connectors at major Apple subcontractor Foxconn International Holdings have also been unexpectedly low, attributable in part to insufficient supply of some key materials.
Consequently Chao and Shen’s sources suggest that a reduction in the first batches of new iPhone shipments could result in short supplies at the retail end in the early going, although that would presumably result in a sales boost for the new models in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first half of 2013, presuming that the production bottlenecks get ironed-out.
The takeaway here is that if you’re really hurting for an iPhone 5 (or whatever the new Apple handset gets officially named), you’re probably best-advised to get a pre-order in on announcement day or very shortly thereafter, or plan to line up early at an Apple Store on Sept. 21.