Production headaches with 'key component' raise fresh iPhone 6 delay fears

Production headaches with 'key component' raise fresh iPhone 6 delay fearsIt happens every time. We're talking about reported component shortages giving Apple headaches ahead of an iPhone launch and potentially putting launch day stocks at risk.

This time we're told only that it's a “key component” of the iPhone 6 that's putting things at risk, but Reuters claims it comes on the back of a separate issue with the display that saw Apple having to stop production for weeks to make a last-minute revision.

We're talking specifically about the smaller 4.7in variant of the iPhone 6, which Apple wanted to have just a single layer of backlight film for a slimmer overall profile.

According to a pair of supply chain sources, Apple had been planning to cut back the smaller 4.7in variant of the iPhone 6 to just a single-layer backlight to shave a sliver off of its overall thickness.

But when tests showed the single-layer approach just wasn't bright enough, it caused assembly of the 4.7in iPhone 6 (which went into production before the larger 5.5in model) to be put on hold for part of June and July.

That issue has now been resolved, and production is – or was – back on track again before the latest problem emerged, though Reuters stresses it's still not certain that the latest hiccup will lead to stock shortages or limited supplies of iPhone 6 on launch day.

Consensus is that the iPhone 6 will be announced on 9 September, and will come in both 4.7in and 5.5in guises. But how soon after that the iPhone 6 will actually be available is another matter.

Some have suggested production snags will hold the 5.5in iPhone 6 back, potentially even until 2015, and even if both models are released on schedule, you can still be sure online delivery estimates won't take long to go out to several weeks as consumers look to get their hands on the latest iTrinket.

But then it just wouldn't be an iPhone launch any other way.

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