5s fingerprint

The ever-controversial DigiTimes is reporting this morning that Apple’s upcoming flagship handset, believed to be the iPhone 5S, could be in short supply when it launches later this year. It seems that its fingerprint sensor is causing production issues.

Though we’ve yet to see any physical evidence to support the theory, we’ve heard a number of reports over the past few months claiming Apple has used its new AuthenTec technology to build a fingerprint sensor into (or underneath) the 5S Home button…

Here’s the report from DigiTimes:

“Poor yields of fingerprint-recognition chips and LCD driver ICs will likely force Apple to reduce first-quarter shipments of the rumored iPhone 5S, which is slated for launch in September 2013, according to industry sources.

Volume production of fingerprint-recognition and LCD driver chips for the iPhone 5S should have started at the end of June or early in July, but issues related to yield rates will delay commercial production of the two chips to the end of July, therefore affecting the initial supply of the iPhone 5S, the sources explained.”

The site goes on to say that the fingerprint recognition chip is indeed designed by AuthenTec, the Florida-based NFC and smart sensor-maker that Apple snapped up last summer. And it says that the issues will affect around 3M units of original shipments.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S in September or October alongside a budget iPhone and a slew of other products. The handset is believed to come in a familiar hardware package, with a faster processor and an improved rear camera system.