Every year for the past few years, Apple has launched a new iPhone. And with the exception of the likely ill-fated iPhone 5c, every new iPhone that launches each year has been in short supply with respect to the enormous demand we always see for new Apple wares. Apple always seems to sell as many new iPhone models as its manufacturing partners manage to build, but rumors of manufacturing issues at Foxconn or one of Apple’s many component suppliers sprout up each year followed by launches that see constrained supply. With the iPhone 6, however, it looks like Apple might be taking fewer risks in an effort to break the iPhone curse.
Citing multiple unnamed industry sources, Digitimes on Tuesday reported that Apple has again tasked chip fab giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company with building Touch ID fingerprint scanners for the upcoming iPhone 6.
Initially, Apple reportedly wanted to shift from an 8-inch fab used on the iPhone 5s to a 12-inch fab for the iPhone 6. According to the report, the decision has apparently been reversed because Apple has acknowledged possible yield issues with moving to a new 12-inch wafer-level packaging (WLP) for the sensors.
“Yield rates for 8-inch WLP are able to exceed 95%, while those for 12-inch WLP at TSMC’s facilities at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) stay between 70% and 80%,” Digitimes’ report noted.
So it looks like this time around, Apple is willing to make some compromises in order to break its curse and ensure that its partners can build as many iPhone 6 handsets as possible.
Considering Apple sold more than 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices through their first weekend of availability last year, and that there are not one but two brand new iPhone models expected to launch this fall, Apple will need as many units as possible on hand in order to satisfy what will almost certainly be record demand.