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Kuo: iPhone 14 production runs into camera issues, but Apple already fixed it

Updated Nov 7th, 2022 11:36AM EST
Camera size: iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy unit (left) vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max (right).
Image: YouTube

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iPhone 14 manufacturing should soon start in anticipation of the mid-September launch, but Apple might be dealing with various unforeseen production problems. Ming-Chi Kuo detailed the latest one in a new report. A quality check reportedly surfaced issues with the coating of certain iPhone 14 cameras. However, Apple already fixed the potential supply issue by transferring orders to a different manufacturer.

The report follows a similar story from the insider who claimed Apple had to shift orders for other essential iPhone 14 parts to ensure manufacturing was on schedule.

Will Apple launch the new iPhone on time?

Apple has been somewhat successful at navigating the supply chain issues during the pandemic. The company prioritized iPhone production over other devices and sold record numbers of iPhones each year, outperforming its biggest Android rivals in the process.

Of the two iPhone launches during the pandemic, Apple only had to postpone one. The iPhone 12 arrived in the first year of the pandemic, and Apple unveiled the device in mid-October, about a month later than expected. The iPhone 13 then launched on time last year.

iPhone 14 Pro 3D Renders
iPhone 14 Pro 3D renders: Color concepts. Image source: Technizo Concept and LetsGoDigital

The iPhone 14 might also see a regular September release date, despite launch delay worries that followed the spring lockdowns in China. Kuo detailed the recent iPhone 14 supply issues on Twitter. It’s not just the iPhone 14 camera that might be affected by manufacturing issues. The well-known analyst said Apple has dealt with LPDDR5 RAM and OLED panel supply issues.

However, these appear to be fixable problems that Apple has already addressed. Therefore, they should not impact the iPhone 14 launch schedule. Should Apple fail to unveil the iPhone 14 on time this year, we’d expect the company to say so during the upcoming June 2022 earnings call this week. That’s how Apple handled the iPhone 12 release date delay two years ago.

The iPhone 14 camera quality issues

Kuo said on Twitter that his latest survey identified an issue with the iPhone 14 camera coating. Rear cameras that Genius supplied experienced coating-crack quality issues. As a result, Apple had to move 10 million lens orders to Largan to prevent iPhone 14 shipment issues.

Kuo has been accurate in his reports about unreleased iPhones, with his supply chain connections likely providing accurate data about designs and new features. We don’t expect Apple to acknowledge any supply issues with specific parts, like this iPhone 14 camera coating problem.

Apple does address supply chain issues in its earnings reports. But usually talks in generalities and focuses on the impact on earnings.

As for the camera coating issue Kuo highlighted, the insider says Genius should fix it within one or two months. Whether that happens or not, it should not impact the iPhone 14 production. Largan can more than make up for Genius’s orders, Kuo said.

Apple will share earnings results for the June 2022 quarter on July 28th. We’ll soon learn whether Apple expects any iPhone 14 launch delays or whether we’re looking at a regular release schedule for the new handset.

Finally, of all four new iPhone 14 units, the new 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus seems the most likely device to see any release delays.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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