Apple’s next iPhone is widely expected to debut sometime this summer but according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, the handset and the next iPad mini have been met with production difficulties that could result in delayed launches.
In a note to investors, he said Apple wants to include fingerprint scanning technology in the next iPhone which would allow users to unlock a device without having to enter a passcode. The hurdle for Apple is figuring out how to prevent interference from coating material used under the cover glass, Kuo said.
One would assume that such technology would come from security firm AuthenTec – an asset that Apple scooped up last year for $356 million. The company makes fingerprint sensors and identity management software which they used to license to companies like LG, Motorola and Samsung before the acquisition.
The next iPad mini will reportedly use a high density Retina panel like its bigger brother which is causing some production challenges as well. The analyst essentially said the same thing back in January so this really isn’t any sort of breaking news.
Finally, Kuo said Apple’s plans to release a low-cost iPhone have been met with production difficulties, too. Notably, the casing for the phone - rumored to be plastic like the first few generations - is giving Apple trouble. One would think that if a company had used similar building materials in the past, it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out how to pull it off once again.
The KGI Securities analyst has a solid track record with regard to Apple predictions as he correctly forecasted Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina last year as well as details about the iPod and iPad.