Delayed fingerprint sensor production to dramatically cut initial shipments of iPhone 5S in Q313, sources say

“Production of Apple’s next iPhone, commonly referred to be the iPhone 5S and is scheduled to be unveiled on September 10, could reach only 3-4 million units in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 10 million units as originally planned due to a delay in production of fingerprint sensors needed for the iPhone 5S, according to industry sources,” Josephine Lien and Steve Shen report for DigiTimes.

“The production of the sensors has been delayed due to issues related to integration between iOS 7 and fingerprint chips, as well as a low yield rate at packaging firm Xintec, the sources revealed,” Lien and Shen report. “Production of the iPhone 5S are likely to ramp up to 28-30 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013 thanks to sufficient supplies of fingerprint chips, the sources noted.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Initial supplies of Apple’s next-gen iPhone to be severely constrained. What else is new?


  1. It’s a proven fact that fingerprint sensors are reliable 50% of the time. When they are unable to read your fingerprints, they throw up false negatives due to the positioning of your finger relative to the reader (unable to read the ridges of your finger), motes of dust obscuring the reader, the reader drawing power due to the need to provide illumination to silhouette your finger against the sensor and a multitude of other problems. And for what gain? To obviate the need to enter a passcode into your phone?

    If Apple introduces the fingerprint reader to the iPhone 5S, this will be the biggest fiasco since the dawn of time, bigger even than the maps fiasco that saw the head of Scott Forstall rolling. Perhaps it’ll be the turn of Tim Cook’s head for the axeman’s chopper next if the fingerprint fiasco blows up.

    1. You assume the tech is the same. It might be the type of sensor that only pays attention to the active layer of skin cells behind the first layers of skin. The diagrams in the rumors all show this.

        1. It’s annoying. And it doesn’t help for user/password combos for other apps.

          If I’m using a Chase bank app, maybe I want to authenticate quickly without it saving my password.

          I assume this will give us more authentication options. It also opens the door to a payment system, where again, using a password is too annoying.

        2. You don’t really think a four digit passcode is adequate do you? Not in this world. I never use less than 12 and generally more. Obviously we’ll have to wait to pass judgment on the fingerprint sensor from Apple. I hope it works. It could certainly lead to good things way beyond passcodes for your phone. Think securer retail purchases. Think all those iTunes accounts that Apple has. Revenue.

        3. Im guessing they integrate the sensor into a security app that remembers all your passwords to websites, iTunes, etc. sort of like 1Password but you just need your fingerprint instead of passwords. So much more than just for a 4 digit PIN.

          1. Mavericks is including a “One Pass” type utility as part of the new OS. It is not much of a stretch to imagine it a final addition to iOS 7. There is little doubt in my mind that this is setting the stage for Apple’s Digital Wallet. Whether it is introduced in September is anyone’s guess, but it’s easy to see the building blocks for the iPhone as a digital payment tool being put in place.

    2. Maybe the rumor about the board telling Tim they had concerns, see recent post, isn’t a rumor at all?

      I’m still not sure if I want my fingerprint floating around the internet as it is really just a permanent password and one that I can not change.

      This really does concern me with all the NSA stuff lately and all the hacking besides that. After all, what we thought was encrypted ain’t encrypted for everyone. If the government can figure out or coerce their way into a back door, so will the hackers eventually. Does this bother anyone else? Am I wrong to be concerned about it? Please advise.

    3. BLN?

      How many personalities do you have? I’ve noticed two or three… I like one of them a lot but the rest are morons. You should pick one of your favorite personalities, and stick to just that one.

      1. Yeh. I was wondering that. I’ve seen a couple of posts from BLN that were simply construction and positive in tone – no sneering, no insults, no name-calling, no vacuous bluster. I was wondering what the heck was going on.

    4. Apple’s technology is different. It does not use photo optics, so is not affected “motes of dust obscuring the reader” and does not rely on “illumination to silhouette your finger”. The sensor may indeed have problems, but the one’s you list will not be among them.

  2. Has DigiTimes ever NOT declared major delays to new Apple products? Seriously, if you could track the accuracy of your sources and show that accuracy in the first line of your article, that would truly be a valuable service for your customers…

  3. Oh oh. you know what that means. Those lines at the Apple stores for the new iPhones that normally begin 2-3 days before a new release, have already begun, today. If you’re not in line by tomorrow to replace that year old iPhone forget about that new iPhone until Oct or something.

  4. Yay, it’s that time of the year again!

    However, I will say this: even IF this rumor turns out to be true, I highly doubt it will be all that terrible. Why? Because of the iPhone 5C. If the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S are released together, which one do you think will be making the bulk of the sales?

    I’ll give you a hint: it’s not the one with the fingerprint sensor.

    Of all the years to actually have a supply issue with the iPhone, this is the one. Of course, I firmly believe this rumor is total BS like everything else DigiTimes reports.

      1. The cutting edge is always the bleeding edge.

        Minor kinks, at worst, that will be ironed out in time, but will establish a whole new security standard that banks and commerce will clamor for.

        Remember how bad touch technology was on everything before iPhone?

  5. its highly possible that the fingerprint sensor can be turned off in settings if you want to and only use a pass code as you do now. Just because the beta’s of IOS7 may not be showing this yet, for obvious reasons.. they don’t want to advertise a new feature, but its nothing code wise to add such a feature if needed, may already be in version of IOS7 for testers.

  6. I’m a little confused…didn’t Apples 3rd quarter end on June 29th? How could the production of the iPhone 5S be constrained if the IPhone 5S wasn’t likely in production at that time? I’m guessing that it might have been in pre-production mode…not to mention that it hasn’t even been announced yet.

  7. I think this is bull. There’s not going to be a convex fingerprint sensor on the next iphone. It’s not going to have a curved screen. it’s not going to be teardrop-shaped. The apple logo on the back won’t light up. it won’t be made of liquid metal. It won’t have a 3d display. There’s not going to be a built-in projector. there won’t be buttons on the back. It won’t have NFC.

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