By Pooja Drubra | Jul 31, 2012 12:39 PM EDT
Apple aficionados are holding their breath and eagerly waiting for the launch of the sixth generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5. However, the road ahead for Apple may not be a smooth one. The tech giant could face hurdles along the way if recent rumors that the launch of iPhone 5 might get delayed owing to shortage of chips in China, are to be believed.
Qualcomm, which is the major supplier of iPhone chips, will only be able to deal with the 28 mm chip undersupply by the end of the year, according to Want China Times, which quoted Shanghai-based First Financial Daily. Since Qualcomm is the only maker of chip with 4G integrated application and modem technology (FaceTime over LTE will be possible in iPhone 5), a shortage would definitely mean a delayed launch of the Apple device.
However, there's some good news. To resolve the shortage of chips, Qualcomm has reportedly signed agreements with Samsung and United Microelectronics to help manufacture chips for Apple. Apparently, Apple is the largest semiconductor buyer and its total amount of purchases would come up to$ 28 billion (which was $24 billion in 2011).
Want China Times reports "As Apple keeps firm control over its inventory, it is cautious about selecting new suppliers,its heavy demand for components often drive suppliers to operate at full capacity. Partners must meet Apple's tough demands or risk losing a major buyer; its production chain consists of 156 companies."
iPhone 5 launch was pre-scheduled to September, according to rumors, but owing to the chip shortage, it will be delayed now. An October or November launch is more likely.
Here's what the Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs had to say about the shortage of chips: "Although our outlook for semiconductor volumes in the fiscal fourth quarter has been reduced from our prior expectations, we are ramping our supply of 28 nanometer chipsets to help enable what we expect to be a strong December quarter for our semiconductor business."
What do you think? Will the iPhone 5 debut in September or October? Or will its debut be postponed to (God forbid) next year?
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