As the iPhone 6 inches closer to its release date the volume of leaked photos will continue to rise. The latest edition of leaked photos from Weibo.com appear to show the front panel of the upcoming iPhone without a cover screen. The front panel appears to be longer and slightly wider than the iPhone 5 that is pictured next to it.
The leaked images align closely with news reports that various suppliers will begin ramping up production of various key components in Q2. If components are coming off the production press by late May then a late June release for the 4.7″ cannot be ruled out. Foxconn reportedly was producing 500k iPhone 5s models a day by late 2013 and I expect the addition of Pegatron to lift total capacity closer to 1 million phones per day. In March it was reported that Pegatron was going on a hiring spree to be ready to assemble units during Q2. The iPhone 6 manufactures could conceivable produce enough units of inventory to in just 30 days to support a iPhone 6 launch in late June or early July. Stay tuned as this could be a surprise to everyone.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reported began production on the A8 chip in March.
Micron Technology announced that they begun ramping up production of their DRAM memory LPDDR4 which is also consistent with company comments made in January that they would land in mobile handsets later in 2014.
Reuters indicated that Japan Display Inc, Sharp Corp and South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd will begin mass producing display touch panel screens as early as May.
Sapphire cover screen supplier GT Advanced Technologies, who is growing sapphire inside Apple’s Mesa, AZ sapphire plant has also begun to ramp up its production as well. 9to5Mac released information in January indicating that Apple wanted to go-live with the Mesa sapphire operations by February. Additional records pulled from the city of Mesa website and FTZ indicate that the facility has indeed begun production and the first line or 140 tools (ASF sapphire growth furnaces) went live on January 10th and was followed by another significant ramp up in Tools by the middle of February.
Full Disclosure: I am long shares of GTAT and have no plans to buy or sell any holdings