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Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6 phablet facing delays, worst case pushes release date to 2015

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6 phablet facing delays, worst case pushes release date to 2015

Apple’s first phablet-sized iPhone, one oft-rumored to come with a large, 5.5-inch display, is likely to get delayed and - under the most negative of outcomes - it could even not arrive on store shelves this year due to issues with the in-cell touch panel and coloring on the expected metal case, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Even though Apple has the same problems with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, the 4.7" model is allegedly still on track to arrive this fall.

"These problems will likely be even more complicated with a larger size"

Another challenge Apple has to overcome with the 5.5-inch phone is related to the sapphire glass, rumored to be used in the company’s first phablet. While harder than glass, sapphire is still brittle and the KGI analyst does not expect it to "easily pass the drop test near term."

If Apple does not manage to overcome those issues, we’re likely to see just the 4.7” iPhone 6 this year, probably sold alongside discounted iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

“We think the 5.5-inch model will also have issues with the yield rate of in-cell touch panel and color unevenness of metal casing. Indeed, these problems will likely be even more complicated with a larger size,” Kuo noted. “In addition, from a technical perspective, we don’t expect sapphire cover, used for the first time on the 5.5-inch model, will easily pass the drop test near term. We are conservative about 5.5-inch iPhone launching by end-2014. Even if the product is launched in 2014, it is likely to take place after mid-4Q14, which is later than the September-October of consensus, with shipments being lower than consensus of 15- 20mn units.”

Just last week, Kuo posted another note saying Apple is also facing manufacturing difficulties with its anticipated iWatch that might force it to release the wearable as late as in December.

Keep in mind that even though these reports are based on insider information, they are not even close to official, so it’s always useful to keep a grain of salt handy. Plus, on the 5.5” iPhone front, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says there could be an optimistic outcome and - if Apple sorts all issues out - the device may still launch late this year.


source: KGI Securities via Apple Insider

14 Comments
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posted on 14 Jul 2014, 03:20 2

1. Iodine (Posts: 366; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)


Or Apple just want to see how many people will their 4,7" attract first and then decide what to do.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 03:37 4

2. amats69 (Posts: 1033; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


For sure, bigger iphone is a huge success this year..

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 03:50 2

3. justsayit (Posts: 200; Member since: 09 May 2013)


i thinks so, most user cant stand with tiny 4inch phone,that why apple losing the market share

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 04:09

4. techperson211 (Posts: 598; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


I don't thinks so because it'll be just like a smaller version of iPad mini. I think the 4s was the game changer for iPhone but the rest.... Oh well some people buy it for the logo. Good luck Apple lovers.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 07:32

7. amats69 (Posts: 1033; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Ive been using android since galaxy s2 and now im still enjoying android via my htc one m8..only one thing that holds me to buy iphone is the screen size..and im sure im not the only one having the same reason..bu i agree wih you that some of the iphone users bought iphone just because of the logo or the "apple" brand.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 04:21 4

5. Settings (Posts: 310; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


The term phablet is just ugly.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 05:23

6. brasstax (Posts: 144; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Iodine is spot on with his (or is it HER) comment. I have said this in a few of my previous posts. The iphablet is, as I speak, a non existent device. Apple is likely to observe the response to it's (possible) 4.7 inch phone before taking a call. Many iPhone users on sites such as these, seem excited about the possibility of a larger iPhone. But I am sure apple is aware that they do not necessarily represent the views of the majority of their existing customers.

If at all apple release the 4.7 inch iPhone, they are likely to wait a good 2 years before jumping to the phablet market. Heck in 2 years, we might have foldable screen technology become commonplace & we could have foldable 10 inch smartphones.

They also need to make sure that the iphablet doesn't cannibalize sales of the iPad mini cellular version. As such, Apple is steadily losing ground to Android devices in the tablet category

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 07:41

8. jefflass (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Jul 2014)


First the press speculates that Apple should be coming out with a much larger iPhone to compete with Samsung's larger cheap devices.

Then the press speculates that Apple COULD be coming out with two larger iPhone6s.

Then some idiots prepare speculative designs of what such iPhones might look like.

Then the press speculates that Apple could be introducing the larger iPhone in the Fall.

Then more idiots prepare even more speculative designs of possible iPhone6s.

Then the press speculates on design elements and the potential problems with achieving some of them.

Then more idiots prepare more speculative designs of larger iPhones.

Then the press fabricates a schedule for introducing two different sizes of iPhone6.

Then the press speculates that there may be delays in their own speculative introduction schedules due to speculated fabrication problems.

But all of the above is just SPECULATION — just air from airheads. Apple has said absolutely nothing about any of this. In fact, Apple may not be coming out with a larger iPhone6.

Personally, I would not like an iPhone larger than my current iPhone5S.

And guess what, Samsung is LOSING lots and lots of MONEY.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 08:23 2

10. ph00ny (Posts: 597; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Samsung is losing money? I think their profit margin is still very healthy

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 08:31

11. Scott93274 (Posts: 871; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


The man must be telling the truth, he's acting like he knows everything. You shouldn't disrespect him by asking him to back up his statements with source material or anything rational like that.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 09:19 2

12. topher3134 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Jul 2014)


Samsung Warns Of Profit Decline For Q2, Cites Slower Smartphone And Tablet Growth

byRamin Edmond on July 8, 2014, 5:31 pm EDT

Samsung Tuesday warned investors of weak second-quarter results ahead, attributing the drop in part to soft sales of its smartphones and tablets.

Samsung is expecting second-quarter profits of $7.1 billion, a 24 percent decline from the year-ago quarter’s $8.5 billion and the third straight quarterly decline reported by the South Korea-based company. Samsung is slated to report official second-quarter earnings later this month.



Samsung cited several reasons for the quarter falling short of analysts’ projections, including “a slowdown in the overall smartphone market growth” and “increased competition in the Chinese and some European markets [leading to] higher inventories for the medium- and low-end smartphones.”

The “increased competition” Samsung referred to is the growth of Chinese midlevel and entry-level smartphone vendors Lenovo and Huawei, which have continued to make gains in the overseas smartphone space. Solution providers say both these companies have made great strides in the past year and Lenovo’s impending acquisition of Motorola could shake things up even further.

“This is the beginning of lower margins for Samsung as it responds to pressure in the Chinese and American markets,” said Raul De Arriz, national government sales manager for Small Dog Electronics, a solution provider based in Waitsfield, Vt. “It is not a blip in the market. Now it is competing with Chinese companies such as Lenovo and other companies from China. What Samsung is about to find out is that the Chinese will be more price- competitive than they are, and at some point the Chinese companies will catch up with them in that market.”

Samsung also said that phablet sales had encroached on its tablet sales. “Higher shipments of 5- to 6-inch large screen smartphones replaced demands for 7- to 8-inch tablets.” Samsung, which does not disclose sales numbers, described its tablet sales for the quarter as “sluggish.”

In addition, Samsung said it had focused more on promotional marketing in the second quarter to reduce inventories of its new smartphones.

Solution providers were surprised in late April when Verizon held a “buy one, get one” promotion for the Samsung Galaxy S5 when it hadn’t been on the market for even a month.

“It was clear to me when we saw the Verizon promotion that they are hurting. Apple would never do that,” said De Arriz. “If Apple were to come out with competitively sized screens, there would be little motivation to get a Samsung phone. In the American market, Samsung will have to compete through price, and that is going to squeeze profits.”

Samsung also provided positive guidance for the third quarter, saying it “expects stronger smartphone sales and this will have a positive impact on the company’s display panel business.”

Here is some facts for you big guy!

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 07:55

9. Scott93274 (Posts: 871; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Any news is good news for Apple. People talk, it builds hype. I have no interest in the iPhone beyond business strategy, and the impact it has on the overall global market share. I do not like iOS, but I can see an iPhone with a larger display being too much to resist for those who usually wait two years or more to fork out the money to get the new phone, if even it were just a simple size increase and nothing more (Though we know that's not the case). I expect records sales this year though I don't see market share increase at all.

As for the alleged 5.5" model, I think I'm going to have to agree with others when they say Apple's going to test the market to see how well the 4.7" phone is received before releasing the 5.5" model. I can understand their hesitation, the only other time they released two new phone models at the same time was last year. Now they have millions of iPhone 5Cs collecting dust somewhere as a result because one model was just so overwhelmingly more popular than the other.

posted on 14 Jul 2014, 09:32 2

13. PAPINYC (Posts: 2274; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


LOL ...... iDelayed

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 07:15

14. jefflass (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Jul 2014)


Does anyone know: can sapphire be re-melted and re-cycled?

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