Apple iPhone 5S: Limited Supply Likely on Rapidly Approaching Release Date

**Editor’s Note:

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 for our list of June’s hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone fared against the competition.**

For those waiting to get their hands on Apple’s newest smartphone dubbed by most industry insiders as the iPhone 5S the 10-month wait has been long enough. But now comes a new report that not only will it be fall before the new device makes its debut, it might be hard to get your hands on one the minute it goes on sale.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, says production of the 5S is experiencing some rough spots. He says there are setbacks regarding some of the components for the new smartphone, and assembly of the handset is not coming along as quickly as planned, Apple Insider reported. That’s enough evidence for Kuo to predict that the iPhone 5S will barely make its debut by the end of September, and when it does, there won’t be as many of the devices available as we’ve grown accustomed to.

“While shipments forecasts may still grow sharply in 4Q13, we are concerned iPhone 5S may face the same problem as its predecessor, namely that by the time supply matures, demand will already have waned, hurting shipments,” Kuo wrote in a research note.

This isn’t good news for a company that’s facing increased competition from Samsung and its Galaxy and Note lines of devices, most notably the Galaxy S4, which has been the top seller at three of America’s four largest wireless carriers in the last couple of months. Some argue that Apple’s insistence on selling only one new phone each year also hampers its success, despite the great profit margin it turns on each device.

That may be one reason the Silicon Valley giant is rumored to be prepping a budget iPhone, which Kuo says will be ready sooner than the 5S because manufacturing it is less complicated. Shipments, however, the analyst says, will only hit the 26 million mark this year, which is below the market consensus of 30 to 40 million phones. Sales are also a question mark since Kuo believes the cheaper iPhone will have an unsubsidized price tag of between $450 and $550, which we see as still being too expensive to be a huge seller in emerging markets where large segments of the population can’t afford it.

Will either of the new iPhones feature a larger screen than the four-inch iPhone 5? Despite rumors of a 4.3-inch screen that surfaced last week, probably not. That, however, hasn’t quieted talk of bigger screens in the not-too-distant future. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is testing larger displays for both the iPhone and the iPad tablet in the face of increasing competition from Samsung and others who offer them, particularly on smartphones.

For example, the WSJ’s sources at the phone-maker’s suppliers say Apple is investigating the viability of a 13-inch tablet, which would be a three-inch increase over the existing model.

Apple, of course, had no comment on either report.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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