Rumor of Defective Component Suggests iPhone 5 Could Be Close To Completion

A new report out of Asia is indicating that the full-fledged iPhone 5 never materialized in 2011 due to a faulty key component. If this is the case, then the iPhone 5 might be just one piece away from completion.

The biggest story in the never-ending iPhone 5 rumor mill right now is when the iPhone 5 will be released. You’ve heard conflicting reports even here on this blog: while my source has indicated that the next iPhone will debut in June of 2012, Charles posted an article yesterday that rounded up the educated guesses of the rumor mill’s Bill Palmer, who argues that a release date may not be set in stone and will be predicated on how well the iPhone 4S sells over the long term.

Regardless of who you are inclined to believe at this juncture about the iPhone 5 release date, a new report today is suggesting that the iPhone 5 may have been all but complete in the Summer, with only one flawed — but critical component — holding up its release.

This report is coming from an Koean website Hankyoreh, which says that the only reason why the overhauled iPhone 5 didn’t make its appearance in 2011 was due to a faulty part being manufactured by a Taiwanese components supplier: “Industry rumors have emerged that the reason Apple was unable to release the iPhone 5 was due a problem with stability of a key part, whose production had been newly assigned to a Taiwanese company. This story has it that the Taiwanese component failed to meet the required stability standard during tests conducted before mass production of the iPhone 5, making delay of its release inevitable.”

While the article never stipulates that this “component” was the A6 processor, the sub-text of the article suggests that this issue — which also involves Samsung — must be referencing the rumors that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) was to take over production of Apple’s future A6 chip, which we originally reported back on August 14th. But on October 17th, an update to this story suggested that Samsung was back on the job for the A6 processor job.

Hankyoreh‘s article seems to corroborate this, when they quote Samsung as stating in a press release: “As far as we understand, Apple newly assigned production of two key components for its iPhone 5 and iPad 3 to a Taiwanese company, but these showed problems such as overheating during final tests.”

There are some positive assumptions that we can make from this report: one, that the iPhone 5 will indeed feature an even more powerful A6 processor that will be manufactured by Samsung who, in spite of their feud with Apple, has managed to maintain a high level of quality in producing Apple’s chips, and that the iPhone 5 may very well be “complete,” and is just awaiting Samsung’s ability to get A6 chip production ramped up.

I would argue that this development further suggests that a June iPhone 5 launch is credible.


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