In addition to launching the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in September, Apple was believed to be launching the bigger 5.5-inch variant towards the end of the year. But now, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest research note claims that issues with the touch panel and coloring of the device has delayed the device, possibly to next year, 9To5Mac reports.
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. 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.
Besides the in-cell touch panel and coloring, the research note also mentions that the Sapphire display is not likely to be ready in time. Recently we saw a video of the sapphire display, which passed through a scratch test is said to be nearly indestructible. In fact in a separate note, Kuo also claimed that the forthcoming Apple iWatch too will boast a sapphire display.
The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 being relatively smaller in size will not face most of these issues. The forthcoming smartphone will feature some design changes including curved edges, a power button on the side rather on the right top-corner and elongated volume rocker instead of the circular volume buttons. The larger variant will additionally include features like optical image stabilization and higher storage capacities.