I have some bad news for all you folks eager to get your hands on Apple's next-generation lineup of iOS devices. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo - who has a pretty spot-on track record when it comes to Apple rumors - technical and production challenges may force Apple to delay the release of the iPhone 5S, the new iPad Mini, and the rumored low-cost iPhone.
While Kuo initially anticipated the iPhone 5S to launch sometime in June or July, to be followed by an iPhone launch on China Mobile in September, he says the launch window may be pushed back as far as November.
Earlier we estimated that shipments of the new iPhone would begin in July (FDD version) and September (TDD version), while iPad mini 2 would hit the market in August. Currently, market consensus for shipments of iPhone 5S, low-cost iPhone and iPad mini 2 is July, July, and August, respectively. But in light of publicly available information and our knowledge of technological trends, we now think all three products will begin shipments later than our previous expectation and market consensus.
Regardless of when the iPhone 5S ships, Kuo notes that the low-cost iPhone will begin shipping one month earlier.
So just what, exactly, is behind the anticipated delay?
Well, as has been previously rumored, it's believed that the iPhone 5S will sport a fingerprint authorization sensor underneath the home button. To that end, Kuo writes that Apple still needs to complete work on iOS 7 to integrate all of the hardware and software together. What's more, Apple is still trying to find the right type of color coating for the home button to prevent interference with the fingerprint sensor.
Of course, this jibes with a previous report from the know Apple blogger John Gruber who noted that iOS development is behind schedule, so much so that Apple was forced to pull members from its OS X team to work on iOS development.
With respect to the lower-cost iPhone and iPad Mini, Apple is reportedly experiencing issues pertaining to color coatings and Retina Display issues, respectively.
In Kuo's best-case scenario, the low-cost iPhone will ship in August while both the iPhone 5S and new iPad Mini will ship in September. In Kuo's worst-case scenario, the low-cost iPhone will ship in October while both the iPhone 5S and iPad Mini 2 will ship in November.