Apple’s iPhone 6 is perhaps the most highly anticipated iPhone ever, but it also seems to be one of the most difficult to manufacture. Over the past few months, multiple reports have stated that Apple has struggled to produce enough sapphire screens to cover all the iPhone 6 units it hopes to sell at launch. Reports contradict each other at every turn as to whether the iPhone 6 will come with a sapphire screen or stick with regular glass. Now, a new report from Reuters states that Apple faces yet another huge setback in its screen production lines.
Citing supply chain sources, Reuters reports that recently the backlight panel for the screen had to be revised. This hiccup significantly delayed production and reportedly shut down the production line for portions of June and July.
One production line source told the publication that initially, Apple planned to include just one thin layer of backlight film instead of the standard two that are typically employed on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, in hopes of making the device even thinner.
However, it was soon discovered that one layer didn’t produce enough brightness, so another layer was inserted at the last minute. That critical time wasted has now been made up, the sources said, but factory workers have been hustling to get back on track with production goals. The sources also revealed that Japan Display, Sharp, and LG Display are hard at work producing as many iPhone 6 screens as possible.
Previously, supply chain sources stated that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 screen also faced serious production problems. For a time, an issue with the in-cell screen technology for the larger iPhone 6, which removes one layer from the LCD panel so as to make the screen thinner, severely delayed production of the larger model. Sources told Reuters that this problem has been solved.
At this point, it’s impossible to say whether these major production issues will delay the projected September 9 iPhone 6 launch. However, it seems more likely that Apple will introduce the iPhone 6 on time, regardless of how many units it has ready to ship. After all, limited numbers can often spur the kind of feeding frenzy we saw over the gold iPhone 5S. Reuters was also unable to confirm whether both models will arrive in September or if the 4.7-inch model will launch alone.