A trusted Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, stated in an investor note Monday that Apple has run into problems manufacturing part of the display for the new iPhone 6s, delaying the availability of the phone.
The delay, Kuo said, stems from manufacturing problems at Minebea, one of two suppliers that makes the iPhone 6s display’s backlight module. Minebea was not able to produce enough parts for the first wave of expected iPhone 6s Plus sales.
When the problem became apparent, Kuo said, Apple moved the majority of the manufacturing of the part to another supplier, Radiant. Radiant is more experienced, having supplied the screen backlight module for the iPad mini.
Kuo says the iPhone 6s Plus is now delayed by three to four weeks after the official September 25 launch date, adding that the delay could grow longer as production ramps up at Radiant.
Preorders for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus started Saturday morning at 12:01 p.m. Pacific Time. Apple said Monday that, based on early results, the new phones are on track to exceed the 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units that were sold during opening weekend.
“Customer response to iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus has been extremely positive and preorders this weekend were very strong around the world,” Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said in a statement. She added that demand for the iPhone 6s Plus was “exceptionally strong.”
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple sold 12 million to 13 million phones during opening weekend preorders.
“From a high-level, the iPhone 6s cycle seems to be off to a 10-20 percent better start than the iPhone 6, but note that given China is launching for the first time in the initial launch,” Munster said in a research note Monday.
Preorders from Chinese customers probably added about 2 million sales to the opening weekend total, Munster believes.
The most recent market share data from IDC (June 2015) suggests Apple’s iPhone now holds roughly a 14 percent market share among smartphones worldwide, up from 12 percent in June 2014.