While there have been rumors that Apple’s next iPhone could launch in June, supply shortages may make that an impossible goal to meet. Qualcomm issued a statement to analysts warning that they are facing supply issues with new 28nm LTE chips, which are believed to be planned for inclusion in the next iPhone.
“At this stage we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing,” Chief Executive Paul Jacobs told analysts on a conference call, adding that the issue would limit revenue growth this year. [...]
“Demand went so far ahead of availability that we’ve decided to start spending more money to get more supply as soon as possible,” [Chief Financial Officer Bill Keitel] told Reuters. “Any time we can’t make a customer totally happy I’m going to worry. You don’t want to give a customer a reason to go elsewhere.”
Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster predicts that, due to the supply issues, vendors will have to delay anticipated releases for their upcoming products. He specifically predicts that Apple’s next iPhone will launch in October (as the iPhone 4S did last year).
QCOM’s supply issue likely pushes the launch of the iPhone to October. Based on the increased capital spending this year from TSMC and QCOM’s efforts over the last quarter to port its 28nm designs to UMC and probably Global Foundries, we think QCOM will have the capacity to support a Q4 LTE iPhone 5 launch…
Of course, there was never any real reason to think that Apple would launch their next iPhone in June – they may well have been planning a fall release all along, to increase the chances that customers on contract with their carriers would be able to upgrade to the new device. This lines up with claims from a Foxconn executive that the next iPhone would arrive this October.
Even so, this appears to add t0 the theory that the “iPhone 5″ will probably not be arriving this summer, making a fall release much more likely.