iPhone 6s Plus Facing Supply Issues Due to Display Production Bottlenecks

Rafia Shaikh
Posted Sep 14, 2015
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Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus are both on pre-order right now with September 25th being the shipping date. While the smaller variant is still available for delivery on the promised date, larger iPhone 6s Plus is now scheduled to deliver in 3-4 weeks for any new orders. According to new reports from KGI, iPhone 6s Plus is expected to see limited supply at launch due to production constraints.

While this may seem like high demand for the larger iPhone, the delay appears to be due to the supply problems with the phone’s backlight hardware. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities issued a note to investors today which reveals the issues Apple’s supplier Minebea is facing with the backlight module. The report further claims that Apple placed “rush orders” with competing supplier Radiant to meet the demands.

We believe Radiant is receiving rush orders, because Minebea is having production issues. This tells us that Radiant is more skilled at producing backlight module for 6S Plus given its accumulated abundant experience supplying the backlight module for iPad mini (a similar size to 6S Plus). To accelerate availability, we believe Apple has been transferring substantial 6S Plus backlight module orders to Radiant. As such, we estimate the company’s iPhone 6S Plus backlight module orders to increase by 70-80% to 4-5mn units in September, boosting its order allocation from 35-45% to 70-80%.

Radiant already supplies Apple with backlight modules for iPad mini, as indicated in the excerpt above. KGI believes that since 7.9-inch iPad mini is similar to the size of 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus, it could be “more skilled” at supplying the backlight module for the larger iPhone 6s.

KGI expects Apple to have between 1.5 and 2.5 million iPhone 6s Plus units ready to ship for September 25th. However, as Apple is already reporting iPhone 6s duo pre-orders to exceed last year’s launch, the Cupertino tech giant could potentially face some “severe” shortage of the iPhone 6s Plus at the launch, both due to high demand and production bottlenecks. The demand is definitely higher this year as Apple is launching iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in 12 countries, including China. Last year, Apple rolled out the new devices in China a little after the first wave of launch. The first wave had only included 9 countries as opposed to 12, this year.

Apple is launching iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S. You can now pre-order the new iPhone 6s smartphones: here’s how to pre-order iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

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