Manufacturing problems could make the iPhone 6 hard to find at launch

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With a much larger screen size, the iPhone 6 may be the most radical redesign of Apple’s smartphone ever. But with such a major redesign in the works, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and it looks like something already has: according to reports, defects in the iPhone 6’s metal chassis could lead to short supply of enough devices to go around when it launches in September.

The report comes by way of China’s Economic Daily News, who report that Taiwan’s Catcher Technology — a supplier who makes iPhone casings for Apple — have been delivering orders with serious defects. As such, Apple has rejected their parts entirely, placing a short-term order instead with Jabil and Foxconn.

Digitimes reports:

Catcher Technology’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6 chassis has reportedly been rejected by Apple due to defects in the connecting areas between the plastic and metal parts, forcing Apple to place short-term orders with its existing suppliers Jabil and Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report citing market watchers.

Unfortunately, the issue isn’t a quick fix for Catcher Technology to make, either. The issue allegedly relates to the anodizing process Catcher is using on the chassis, and it’s believed it could take two or three months to fix… meaning that Catcher won’t start fulfilling chassis orders until the iPhone 6 has already launched.

Depending on how many chassis Apple has ordered from Catcher Technology, that’s bad news. It’s not likely to delay an iPhone 6 launch, but it could lead to constrained supply, making an iPhone 6 a hard thing to find come September 19th.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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