Apple 5S supplies may be tight over fingerprint sensor

Apple 5S supplies may be tight over fingerprint sensor

Summary: Yields on Apple's 5S fingerprint sensor may mean fewer units being shipped initially. One analysts says suppliers are cutting build estimates.


Apple's iPhone 5S may be in short supply initially as preorders ramp because of poor yields on its fingerprint sensor, according to an analyst.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said in a research note that there are likely to be supply constraints on the iPhone 5S, the high-end smartphone from Apple. Apple is expected to be able to crank out iPhone 5C devices, which are essentially the iPhone 5 with colorful casing.

According to Misek's checks, suppliers are getting build plan cuts for the quarters ahead. For the Sept. quarter, Misek expects 5 million to 10 million iPhone 5S devices to be built with 20 million iPhone 5C units.

In the calendar fourth quarter, Apple suppliers are expecting 20 million to 25 million iPhone 5S devices to be built, but 15 million more likely. Misek noted that projections were volatile.

Those supply constraints may indicate why Apple is pushing the iPhone 5C as the mass market phone over the higher end iPhone 5S.

Also: CNET hands on: iPhone 5SiPhone 5C | 10 new iOS 7 features for the enterprise | iPhone 5c, 5s coming to UK, France and Germany: Pricing and availability revealed | iPhone 5c not cheap enough for emerging APAC markets



In a research note, Misek said:

The 5s has few changes vs. the 5 and is using the same process node for the A7 app processor. Our checks indicate that the fingerprint sensor yields have been terrible and are the likely culprit for the H2 build plan cuts.

Like other analysts, Misek questions whether Apple can make an emerging markets play with the iPhone 5C's price. Overall, he cut Apple's iPhone fiscal 2014 unit estimate to 147 million, down from 162 million.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Smartphones

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  • Demand dicates Supply

    If demand is there they will build them. I suppect the demand will be as iPhone 5c in China.
    • Unless they are heavily discounted there will be no demand in China

      The price is out of reach. It won't sell.
  • The issue seems to be yield on the Fingerprint sensor

    That means a lot of the fingerprint sensors are failing and so the number of 5s phones that can be made is limited to the number of working fingerprint sensors.

    If the fingerprint sensors turn out to be a Apple Maps class disaster it could be curtains for fingerprint readers... Or there may be fallout manifesting in other ways...
    • This is all

      according to analyst... don't get your hopes up yet.
    • Disagree

      I think Apple will merely relegate orders to back order status as they've done in the past if demand outstrips supply. Maybe going so far as to offer a slip of paper in a box to put under the Christmas Tree if they aren't able to catch up by December.
  • talk about giving the finger!

    Apple gave themselves the finger this time!.

    The fingerprint sensor is bound to have problems which is the main entry point into the handset. Any issues with the sensor would almost make the unit inoperable.

    I would say bad engineering. They should have introduced fingerprint as a secondary authentication method, and after ironing out the glitches, then use it a primary authentication.
  • hey!!!!

    At least they can say it sold out this way.