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Apple's Fingerprint Feature still on Target for new iPhone

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In our reports posted in April and June of this year we pointed to Apple having initial problems finding a coating material that wouldn't interfere with their upcoming iPhone fingerprint sensor. The glitch was noted as being serious enough that it could cause the technology to be delayed. Today, a new report confirms that while Apple will launch their next iPhone with fingerprint technology, the initial shipments for September could be slower than usual before ramping up in time for the holiday season.

DigiTimes reports that production of Apple's next iPhone that is scheduled to be unveiled on September 10, could reach only 3-4 million units in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 10 million units as originally planned due to a delay in production of fingerprint sensors needed for the iPhone 5S, according to industry sources.


Mass production of the fingerprint sensors was originally scheduled to begin in May at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and then to be packaged at Xintec, a TSMC subsidiary, the sources indicated.


However, the production of the sensors has been delayed due to issues related to integration between iOS 7 and fingerprint chips, as well as a low yield rate at packaging firm Xintec, the sources revealed.


An engineering team composed of engineers from Apple and TSMC has been dispatched to Xintec recently to help ramp up the yield rate for the packaging of fingerprint sensors, revealed the sources, adding that the supply chain will be able to start volume production of fingerprint chips at the end of August.


Production of the iPhone 5S are likely to ramp up to 28-30 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013 thanks to sufficient supplies of fingerprint chips, the sources noted.


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We just reported on such a "delay" for Samsung.

Apple is a leader and delays in a major product could affect their stock and the market. So it's newsworthy. Who cares if the number 4 or 5 smartphone maker is behind schedule? So Apple gets more scrutiny.

Yet it's a good point, Odo. If I find some other negative news on Samsung about production problems, I'll try to report them on Patent Bolt, our other IP blog.

Why is it that only Apple is always called out for having yield problems on components? Why never Samsung or Nokia or any of the other dozens of Android smartphone manufacturers?

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