Reuters: last-minute iPhone 6 screen redesign puts production in a frenzy, might affect supply at launch

Reuters: last-minute iPhone 6 screen redesign puts production in a frenzy, might affect supply at launch
After issues with manufacturing of the super-thin new iPhone display packages, a deeper problem has been putting Apple's supply chain in a frenzy to meet deadlines, just a few weeks before the grand iPhone 6 unveiling, reports Reuters. It's not simply a matter of retooling and polishing the production process to accommodate Apple's stringent quality policies this time, supply chain sources say, but an actual problem with a component design itself. The issue has been going on for about a month, going into July, and had to do with the backlighting, clarified the insiders. Apparently, Apple wanted to have the thinnest iPhone ever, and skipped on a layer of the backlighting film to make that possible. The panel's brightness, however, was nowhere near Apple's standards then, so the company had to revert to using double-layered backlighting again, while suppliers were twiddling their thumbs, anticipating the final design.

The fact that the piece had to be redesigned means that Apple's suppliers lost precious time to manufacture new panels, and might miss on the contracted quantity for the launch of Apple's most important iPhone revamp in the history of the franchise. The screen of the iPhone 6 is expected to grow to 4.7 inches this year, while the device should be the thinnest of all iPhones so far, at about 7mm or below in girth. This has no doubt put enough pressure on suppliers already, and now they have to catch up for a few weeks of halted production. Hopefully this will not affect the availability of the iPhone 6 at launch, like a similar issue did for the iPhone 5, when demand overwhelmed supply for months after the release date.

source: Reuters

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66 Comments

1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

This means iPhone could be thicker than expected.

15. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Why are people so obsessed with thinness of these phones??? Where is the benefit? It just becomes more fragile and hard to hold with a smaller battery. I just don't get it.

42. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I like chubby phones with smaller footpring.... They tend to be made when the design calls for the camera module to be directly behind the screen (and keep the whole back leveled, no bumps)... Examples of this are my current Xperia Acro S and newer Xperia SP, ZL, ZL2... I really don't mind phones with up to 12mm of thickness... but I do care about size and screen-to-size ratio... So hoping the Z3 Compact will do well there..

55. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Personally, the iP5/5S is thin enough. Stretch the chassis to accommodate the larger screen sizes and call it done. But Jony got caught up with making things ever thinner and now he is reaping the blow-back of trying to push the technological boundary. Somehow, I suspect there will be a bunch of stories out about the new iToy chassis bending once it gets into real-world use. Remember the stories of iP5 chassis bending? Expect more of the same with an even thinner chassis.

56. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yes! exactly... that also happened to Xperia Z1 and Z2 users, even Z1 Compact users complained in a minor scale... I actually know that my current Xperia Acro S, while chubby and using soft touch matte plastic, is actually more durable than newer generations of Xperias, and iPhones... I think that manufactures have placed reliability and durability in a second priority behind looks and specs

63. KRONeage

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

Yes... you can expect more of the same, because they're still trying to get by on the CHEAP and thinner inferior grade aluminum, by simply reinforcing the edges with thinner curved aluminum, instead of chamfered thicker edges. That may help dinging and nicking of the inferior grade aluminum anodization, but it ain't going to fix the fact that soft aluminum is still going be heavier and more bendable than the hard 7000 series Aluminum Zinc Alloy being heat treated on Galaxy Alpha's thinner lighter all in one, REAL METAL edge and mid frame! Especially with a far thinner w/ better blacks screen... I might add being the best Super AMOLED out to date!

54. torr310

Posts: 1645; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Agree. I'd rather have a higher capacity of battery!

57. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

+1 to you sir. My Maxx with its big battery is the cats-meow for me. When Sammy introduced the wall hugger ads, my immediate reaction was poor iToy users. It would really suck having to charge my phone mid-day.

60. HansGoneInsane unregistered

It looks like you are a victim if advertising.

61. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Well, curiously enough, there are problems with the iP5 battery - Apple is replacing batteries on iP5 units that shipped in the first 5-6 months of the phone's availability. There is even an article about it on PA. Even with a good battery, moderate users are having to charge their battery before the day is out. PA has published a few articles about that circumstance as well. Mophie JuicePaks for the iP5/5S are selling quite briskly.

20. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Every year the same story. Shortly before the iPhone arrives, some story is told to the media about why supplies are short. Last year, it was said that the finger print scanner would cause shortages in supply..... There are rumors spread by Apple's competition in order to convince people to buy their product before the iPhone launches and there are rumors spread by Apple in order to hype the iPhone launch. This one definitely belongs to the Apple category.

28. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

No, that theory is easy enough to believe but the shortages are fairly real most of the time. The issue is that Apple really doesn't trust anyone after their issues with Samsung so they have diversified their chain. This of course means each new iPhone had a new rung on the ladder to deal with. The touch id thing might have been nonsense, but this one sounds like a real issue. If they had to resort to a double layer for lighting, that would literally break the whole structure of the devices, meaning something else will have to lose thickness, which in this case is guaranteed to be the battery (only thing with the same size as the LCD is usually the battery). But increasing LCD power requirements with a double layer and thinning the battery at the same time means a double hit on power/battery life.

35. middlehead

Posts: 453; Member since: May 12, 2014

Yeah, if there are false rumors being spread about iphone availability by anyone, it's by Apple. They're building false scarcity so people beyond the hardcore fanboys will push to buy it on opening day.

29. engineer-1701d unregistered

I don't understand why people want the slimmest phone it means company won't give use big battery and camera because they want to be small

33. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Not many people really want a phone that thin, it is just something Apple wants its user base to think they want (reality distortion field and all). The reason Apple wants it to be the norm is because it is literally cheap as hell to do (even saves money on materials) but they can market it to their fanbase which isn't exactly the critical thinking type. This allows them to divert attention from lets say battery size and RAM and what not by using the thinness of the device as an excuse while saving money on the side.

39. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

You are right about that: it is literally cheap to do.. That's Apple's M.O. All they care about is that profit margin rising quarter after quarter at the expense of the Applelites!! Save more money for them, while they taxed the heck out of consumerssssss... I'm amazed at how people still flock to the fruit! LOL. People say but it's a "premium" phone, get out of here with that crap... Look at One Plus One, Motorola, Huawei, Nexus, then those are premium phones too at a fraction of the iphone cost!!

43. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's all any business cares about. What do you think, they want it to sink quarter after quarter?

45. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Obviously the motive is not the issue, it is the method that is questionable. Reducing value to increase profits is not something that is praise worthy in the least. They have a very malleable fanbase and they abuse that fact to squeeze more profits out of them. Not only that but a large portion of their fanbase behaves like cultists and actively bash anyone and everyone who says anything bad about Apple while calling themselves unbiased because they own 1 other device of non-Apple make in an arsenal of iDevices (that or whatever other excuse is popular at the time).

48. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

I think you missed it but @Finalflash cleared it up.

40. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

People don't want the slimmest phone, Apple does. They always dictate to consumers what they want, they always have. Sad thing is people are believing it.

46. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"They always dictate to consumers what they want, they always have. Sad thing is people are believing it." Apple sells to the "you can fool some of the people all of the time" market. Sadly, for the sake of humanity, there are many people in this market.

49. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

Sadly, most are buying off of brand affiliation. Not so much because its a better product. Apple as a brand is designed to reel people in and the brand sells itself. They have used words as: Magical, Premium, Revolutionary to fool some of the people all the time!! LOL I can't wait to watch the news to see people line up for days, camping in tents!! LOLLLLLL. I find that to be very funny and ridiculous. I can't stop laughing just by typing this reply!!

62. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"I can't wait to watch the news to see people line up for days, camping in tents!! " It has gotten fewer and fewer as each release occurs. I think even the fans are finding better things to do with the time required to stand in line. There will be die-hards that continue to do the line thang, but their numbers are getting smaller.

3. mclifford81

Posts: 85; Member since: Jan 26, 2010

Bahahaha, guess I'll be sticking with the S5 a bit longer.

5. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

apple shouldn't just tout their 'premium brand' to sell their device. people would start to ridicule them if apple can't compare and match spec of other flagship phone.

13. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

i don't need anorexic phone. I need a phone with great stamina.

26. dushyant

Posts: 94; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

look elsewhere iPhones usually have really bad battery life, due to their desire to become thinner every time.

38. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

Iphone 5, 5S, & 5C battery suckeddddd!!! But it was thinner.

41. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

i know. That's why i love my galaxy note3 and sony xperia z2

14. Omotoye

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

This story is not true, very inconsistent with Apple ...

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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