iPhone 5 already facing delays?

We give with one hand, we take away with the other. Yesterday we reported that Apple had placed a huge order of iPhone 5 handsets for the rest of the year. Today we hear that making those handsets might prove tough, with a new design possibly slowing down a production process that's already had its problems.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company initially planned to launch its next iPhone this summer as it usually does, but the device wasn't ready in time. This delay could be increased if contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Co., which assembles the iPhone for Apple, can't improve its 'production yield rate'.

Speaking about the current iPhone, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Guo said: 'The touch-screen devices are so thin. It's really difficult to install so many components into the iPhones and iPads. We hope to raise the yield rate and volume in the second half, which will help improve our gross margin.' A smaller device could increase these problems further. Only time will tell.

The new iPhone 5 looks to be a refresh rather than a radical overhaul, thinner and lighter than its predecessors with an improved eight-megapixel camera and Qualcomm chip, says the WSJ, enough improvements to keep things ticking over. However, 'people briefed on Apple's plans' said the company is planning a major iPhone revamp next year, with one person saying the company has been experimenting with features such as a new way of charging the phone. There's also rumours of a less-expensive phone with new features such as an edge-to-edge screen.

Details of that to follow, but right now, we're focused on that iPhone 5 - and hoping the September date holds true, production issues or not.

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