We have previously published reports and analysts’ opinions that predict that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)’s flagship product, iPhone 5 will be delayed or will face imbalance in production and demand. Mizuho Securities’ analyst has also agreed with these predictions. The said analyst, Charles Park, visited Korea and his observations conformed with the media reports of possible issues with iPhone 5 manufacturing and supply.
The production chain is being thwarted by the new in-cell touch technology, a feature that replaces the old display touch tech in iPhones. Manufacturing partners, like LG Display Co Ltd. (NYSE:LPL) and Japan Display, Inc, have begun supplying components for the new touch LCD, but Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) is struggling with the high cost of these LCD screens. As the release of the new iPhone is set to take place on September 12, and shipping will start in late September, the analysis expects only a limited number of phones to reach the market in the month of September/October. The major product inflow will occur in Dec 2012, and in the 2013 quarters. As the result of these hurdles, it is likely that Apple will not be able to produce any large number of phones in Q3 of CY2012, and the chances of reaching the full production volume can only materialize in late Q4 of 2012.
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Mizuho expects the mini iPad to launch somewhere in the holiday season, and believes that the product has aggressive pricing power. The price and features of the new Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) tablet will pitch new competition for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)’s Surface Tablet and for devices featuring the Android framework.
Despite the unexpected delays in the manufacturing chain, Mizuho is sticking with the Buy rating of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)’s stock, as the company has a strong footing in the tablet market, and the hiccups in production will smooth out over time, thus enabling the company to squeeze the full profits out of the holiday season.