Apple experiencing battery issues in development of next iPhone - rumor

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
One of Apple's key suppliers may be having trouble providing batteries for the next iPhone that are up to standards, according to a new rumor.

The claims stem from an article at the Chinese news website Sina.com discovered by analyst Brian White with Topeka Capital Markets. In a note to investors shared with AppleInsider on Thursday, White relayed details from the report, which suggested that only 30 percent of the battery volumes produced currently meet Apple's standards.

The unnamed battery vendor is reportedly working to solve the problem as development of Apple's next iPhone ramps up ahead of an anticipated release later this year.

Rumors of a battery production issue come on the heels of a second story from ifeng.com discovered by White that suggested Apple might want to launch its next iPhone as soon as the end of August. However, the analyst still believes that Apple will launch its sixth-generation handset in September.

"If there is a battery challenge, we trust that Apple will be able to figure it out in time for a September launch," White wrote.

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White's prediction of a September launch for the next iPhone is earlier than some others anticipate. Last year, the iPhone 4S launched in mid-October, and some industry watchers expect Apple will wait about a year before launching a new handset.

Apple's next iPhone is generally expected to have a 4G LTE radio for high-speed data connectivity. Its dock connector might also get a major redesign with a new, smaller form factor featuring 19 pins.

Reports have also claimed the next iPhone will feature a larger 4-inch display that will be taller than the current 3.5-inch screen and will adopt a new 16:9 aspect ratio with a resolution of 1,136 by 640 pixels.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    The SoC is not still on Samsung's 45nm? I guess soon Apple will have to switch to Intel (again) for performance/watt reasons and I would rather an Intel chip than a Samsung in my next iPhone.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member


    Here we go. What's next? The screens can't be made. The SoC error rate is too high. The shorters have to get the negative stories flying so that they can get AAPL down around $500 in order to buy-in before the holiday season gets ramped up.

     

  • Reply 3 of 33


    If this has any truth to it, I hope it's because Apple will be employing some new superior battery tech that just isn't up to the yields of the old stuff yet.

  • Reply 4 of 33
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member


    Brian White sourcing some obscure Chinese website is up there with Bloomberg and Shaw Wu for lacking in a history of accuracy. I'm taking this with a quarry sized salt lick


     


    The only part of this that I think might be true is the end of August thing. because of the school utility in iOS 6 I could see Apple 'launch' the iPhone in mid to late august with iOS 6 available immediately but the phone not actually going on sale until mid - late Sept. 

  • Reply 5 of 33
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Brian White sourcing some obscure Chinese website is up there with Bloomberg and Shaw Wu for lacking in a history of accuracy. I'm taking this with a quarry sized salt lick


     


    The only part of this that I think might be true is the end of August thing. because of the school utility in iOS 6 I could see Apple 'launch' the iPhone in mid to late august with iOS 6 available immediately but the phone not actually going on sale until mid - late Sept. 



     


    You're kidding, right?

  • Reply 6 of 33
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,681member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post



    The SoC is not still on Samsung's 45nm? I guess soon Apple will have to switch to Intel (again) for performance/watt reasons and I would rather an Intel chip than a Samsung in my next iPhone.


     


    It's been speculated that Apple may employ TSMC's 28nm process to fabricate their SoC, but that was only if they could meet Apple's production scale. Otherwise, Apple may not have a choice and continue to use Samsung's 32nm process as they do with the A5X.


     


    Intel's mobile processors are so far down the ladder compared to ARM, that it will be years before Apple ever made that switch.

  • Reply 7 of 33
    hari5hari5 Posts: 56member


    There might be a little truth behind rumor or whatever this could be. Especially when Apple wants to reduce the thickness a little. Only a little because we don't want the kind of holding experience which 4G iPod touch gives. This speculation of mine comes because of the relative products coming from the competition and there is also a the small docking port found on that alleged NEXT iPhone video. I think I have some doubts with that implementation also.


     


    There is another possibility of little truth behind this rumor because Apple wants to give worldwide LTE compatibility. Hell they even want thealiens to be able to use 4G LTE on the upcoming new iPhone. I am not quite certain but unifying lot of bands could create the scenario in which system behaves in a surprising way. And this is a "bad" surprise we are talking about with alleged 3D rendering, if at all. :(


     


    I hate these conditions where Sir Jony Ive is forced to make comprises in his design. Nobody actually likes to change the design. All designers love their designs if turns out it in a way they have imagined. Just kidding. (But there was no kidding when I postponed purchasing the new iPad because it was slightly thicker in size & heavier in weight. I think I will be happy with my iPad 2 until & unless the next iPad comes with sharp's IGZO panels. At least it will be a* much needed welcome change in same old IPS display which could be called quite old tech*. when compared to the recent developments. Coming to the point... )


     


    And there comes the another situation which we all know. Larger screen. At least 4". More pixels. So more raw power required from alleged A6 chip. But. Yes there is a but! With SoC implementations & custom silicon, I think they have mastered this art in a way where no matter how many pixels the hardware guys want to put in any form factor, chip guys will always oblige. This is an area where Apple has the highest lead to the competition. This is an area where their million-billion dollars worth of investment has given them substantial lead from the competition. Apple simply excels. BTW any idea about whether the new iPhone will come with the next step (PowerVR Series6 ‘Rogue’ architecture) or it will be cruising along with the new iPad as it has always been. 


     


    Oh jeez it's rumor mill working at it's highest possible production capacity or I think I am going crazy with my imagination.


     


    *edit

  • Reply 8 of 33
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


     


    It's been speculated that Apple may employ TSMC's 28nm process to fabricate their SoC, but that was only if they could meet Apple's production scale. Otherwise, Apple may not have a choice and continue to use Samsung's 32nm process as they do with the A5X.


     


    Intel's mobile processors are so far down the ladder compared to ARM, that it will be years before Apple ever made that switch.



     


    Selling 35 - 50 million units (per quarter) of one item could end up being Apple's undoing if they don't figure out a way of getting the manufacturers ramped up for the necessary production.

  • Reply 9 of 33
    d-ranged-range Posts: 396member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post



    The SoC is not still on Samsung's 45nm? I guess soon Apple will have to switch to Intel (again) for performance/watt reasons and I would rather an Intel chip than a Samsung in my next iPhone.


     


    Surely it's not going to be on Samsungs 45 nm process, if not on 28 nm, at the very least it will be 32 nm, the A5 in the latest AppleTV and iPad 2 is already produced using a 32 nm process.


     


    I wouldn't want to have an Intel chip in my next iPhone by the way, Intel is nowhere near the performance per watt that ARM chips get. To me, performance per watt really is the only thing that matters for a phone or tablet.

  • Reply 10 of 33
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    d-range wrote: »
    Surely it's not going to be on Samsungs 45 nm process, if not on 28 nm, at the very least it will be 32 nm, the A5 in the latest AppleTV and iPad 2 is already produced using a 32 nm process.

    I wouldn't want to have an Intel chip in my next iPhone by the way, Intel is nowhere near the performance per watt that ARM chips get. To me, performance per watt really is the only thing that matters for a phone or tablet.

    Performance per watt is the main metric, but there are others:

    Size. It's cramped in there - if one chip uses less space (particularly when you include the surrounding circuitry and ancillary chips), it could be an advantage. I have no idea how the two options shape up.

    Price.

    Software. Apple has a well-established ecosystem for iOS on ARM. If Intel simply reaches parity in the other metrics, that would be enough to prevent a change. Because of the software base, Apple would only switch to Intel if there's a significant advantage in the other metrics.

    Supply chain issues. Apple needs a steady supply of millions of chips per month. While both Intel and Samsung can handle that, what happens if the primary vendor has a problem? If Apple uses ARM, they have the potential to switch to another vendor. If they're using Intel, they do not.

    From all of that, I agree that it's unlikely that Apple would switch to Intel, but for other reasons in addition to performance per watt.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 662member
    [quote]I'm taking this with a quarry sized salt lick[/quote]

    Well stated.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member


    The next iPhone isn't coming in August. The likely LTE chips aren't going to be ready in quantity by then. Late September or October.

  • Reply 13 of 33
    bighypebighype Posts: 148member


    This rumors smells like BS. It makes zero sense. Apple ships millions devices each quarter and each of them has a battery in it. iPhone 5's batteries won't be any different than these batteries that ship today.

  • Reply 14 of 33
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member


    When launching such a world class product, there are millions of similar issues to be solved. The miracle is that they are ...

  • Reply 15 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    bighype wrote: »
    iPhone 5's batteries won't be any different than these batteries that ship today.

    That's because it's already shipping.
    big hype wrote: »
    The 6th iPhone 5's batteries won't be any different than these batteries that ship today.

    It better darn well be different. LTE's such a leech on battery (and a faster processor would be, as well) that if the battery isn't changed at all, we'll have serious usability issues.
  • Reply 16 of 33


    They could announce in September,then the release date to be in October. And I think they'll announce a new iPod Touch too, because I doubt they'd ignore it for another year. They didn't necessarily ignore it may be that they were waiting until this year/

  • Reply 17 of 33
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member


    "Quick, rouse up half the population of Kansas and get them to work right now for at least 12 consecutive 12-hour shifts, we need to ship these in September! 


     


    "What? What was that? Oh, union laws don't allow that? What do you mean we have to pay overtime? Oh, the packaging staff is on vacation? What do you mean out on maternity leave; I thought she was just fat, she's from Kansas for crying outloud!? What do you mean most of the workers have 45-minute commutes?! Why don't we just build a dorm around the factory here?! 


     


    "Okay, that's it, we're moving to China." 

  • Reply 18 of 33
    misamisa Posts: 827member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bighype View Post


    This rumors smells like BS. It makes zero sense. Apple ships millions devices each quarter and each of them has a battery in it. iPhone 5's batteries won't be any different than these batteries that ship today.



    I think this is missing the point. The LTE radio and potentially larger screen will drain the battery faster than the previous model. If you don't increase the power density at the same physical size than you have to increase the size of the phone to accommodate a larger battery at the previous power density , which then in turn requires a re-engineering. I'd be somewhat disappointed if they make the iPhone larger that changes the resolution, as that will just anger the developers who already design against the native resolution of the device. 


     


    More power amplifiers are required in LTE models to support the multiple bands needed, so logically the power draw will be higher when used in LTE locations. As we've seen with the iPad, the old chargers are insufficient to charge the iPad and use it at the same time. If they change the dock connector, it could be to support higher power draws as well. Though this seems unlikely. Most device dock connectors, past and present are incredibly fragile, so some variant of the mag-safe connector would be a welcome change, though what I'd expect from Apple is to make the dock connector magnetically held in place, but designed in a way to prevent pocket-fires (caused by contact of the dock connector with change and keys.)

  • Reply 19 of 33

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    I wouldn't want to have an Intel chip in my next iPhone by the way, Intel is nowhere near the performance per watt that ARM chips get.


     



     


    Intel has the rights to manufacture ARM devices, last I read.  They might choose not to do so - they don't really seem to want to be used as "just a fab" - but legally there's nothing preventing them from doing so.

  • Reply 20 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Really Tallest you need to get over this IPhone numbering problem you have. Apple will call it whatever they damn well feel like calling the next iPhone.
    That's because it's already shipping.
    It better darn well be different. LTE's such a leech on battery (and a faster processor would be, as well) that if the battery isn't changed at all, we'll have serious usability issues.
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