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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending April 19

John Cox | April 22, 2013
With the iOSphere's spring warming trend come swarms of Chinese worker bees, presaging the start of iPhone 6 production.

The issues that Misek raises are real ones, in the sense that all companies like Apple face the challenge of managing a group of suppliers and manufacturers, especially during technology transitions. But there are two frustrating problems in trying to evaluate his claims.

First is their lack of detail. Was Misek talking with companies that actually are part of Apple's chain of suppliers? What actually are the "preproduction" issues that are causing the alleged delay of the Next iPhones? It would also help if Misek added more context. For example, many of these same Apple supply chain companies also supply rival smartphone makers, such as Samsung, Nokia, HTC. Are any of them being affected by supply chain issues, or are these issues unique to Apple?

Second is the idea of "delay." Presumably Apple, or any company, has a schedule for bringing a new product to market. But if new technologies are involved and changes to manufacturing lines, the schedule has to be flexible. Apple, like most other companies, has never announced a target date for unveiling or releasing a product. They may not even have a hard target date, but rather a time frame or window, in which they expect to launch the product, assuming that all the complex issues are resolved in bringing a product to that point.

A schedule, which in a case like this is really a schedule of many individual schedules, can be adjusted: more resources or expertise brought to bear on a specific issue or area, accelerating other areas, and so on. Some parts of the product development cycle can fall "behind schedule" but the product can still end up "on time."

iPhone 6 will be a 4.8-inch phablet without a home button

Misek's few comments about the iPhone 6 apparently were the basis for Intentional Business Times' astoundingly speculative (even by IBT's standards) post by Erik Pineda, which went far beyond anything Misek said.

Here's how Pineda started: "Apple will not compete in the phablet arena this year, a new report said, which means the much-speculated 4.8-inch iPhone 6 will see its release date next year, likely on June 2014."

According to Pineda, "the iPhone 6 is considered as representative of Apple's radical device revisions." For the iPhone 6, Apple "will dump its resolve of sticking to the 4-inch screen size." This conclusion seems to be based on, well, nothing except months-old reasoning that concludes larger-than-4-inch-screen smartphones are what most buyers want and therefore Apple has to come up with one. [This the argument of CNET's Dan Farber, for example.]

Second, iPhone 6 "could see the retirement of the tech titan's iconic Home button."


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