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Apple iPhone 6 Release Postponed to 2015 – Analyst

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By Athena Yenko | July 14, 2014 1:10 PM EST

The release of the much anticipated iPhone 6 5.5 -inch "phablet" is reportedly postponed to 2015 due to production issues, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
The Apple logo is pictured at its flagship retail store in San Francisco, California January 27, 2014.

The postponement was due to issues involving the in-cell touchscreen panel and disproportionate colour of the iPhone 6 "phablet". Hence, only the 4.7 inch version is due for launch for 2014, according to an insider source quoted by analyst Kuo.

The problem with the in-cell, that affects the iPhone's touch sensitivity, resulted from having to stretch the edges of the panel to attain the ideal "phablet" size. With this, the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 will be a challenging task for the assembly line in terms of the technical aspect, Kuo wrote in a note to investor obtained by AppleInsider.

Kuo added that with this problem, the rumoured scratch-resistant sapphire front panel of the "phablet" version might not "easily pass the drop test near term." For this reason, delaying its launch to 2015 is the "most conservative scenario" Apple is directed to.

With this circumstance, only the 4.7 inch version, the more affordable iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c are expected to propel Apple's sales growth for the holiday quarter. It is expected that the delay of the "phablet" version will not affect the Apple's bottom line.

Kuo said that even if Apple pushes through with the 5.5-inch launch in 2014, the device will likely be launched after the mid-fourth-quarter or after mid-November - breaking Apple's tradition of launching its new models of iPhones during September.

Meanwhile, Sharp proposed to re-buy from Apple its Kameyama Plant No. 1 that makes panels for both the iPhone 6 4.7 and 5.5-inch, a source told Nikkei Asian Review.

In 2012, Apple bought the plant from Sharp for approximately 100 billion yen for exclusive manufacturing of smartphone LCD panels.

However, since the plant is operating at speed at the moment, Sharp reportedly told Apple that the proposal need not be closed immediately and it will wait until Apple clarifies its terms and conditions.

According to insider, Apple is demanding for Sharp not to supply panels to rival Samsung.

Sharp had allegedly opened the negotiation as the company sees that the LCD division's operating profit could surge to 30 per cent - 55 billion yen for 2014 until March 2015 on sales of 1 trillion yen.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)
The Apple logo is pictured at its flagship retail store in San Francisco, California January 27, 2014.
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