The next major versions of two of Apple's key products are said to face delays as the company scrambles to add new security and display technologies.
In a note to investors this morning, summarized over at Apple Insider, KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo said the next iPhone is being held up by Apple's desire to include finger-scanning technology.
"Apple has to work out how to prevent interference from the black-and-white coating material under the cover glass," Kuo wrote.
Presumably that technology -- which could authenticate a user's identity without a passcode or passwords -- would come from security company AuthenTec, which Apple snapped up for $356 million last July. AuthenTec makes fingerprint sensors and identity management software, and before the acquisition had sold its technology to the likes of Motorola, LG, and Samsung.
As for the next version of the iPad Mini, Kuo reiterated that Apple intends to use a higher-density, Retina Display panel, a decision that's creating production challenges. That's not a new claim from Kuo, who said the same thing in January. Murmurs of such screens also have dripped out in recent months based on the production of such panels.
Both products were last updated and released in the fall, with the iPhone 5 in late September, and the iPad Mini in October.
On top of those claims, Kuo notes that Apple's plans for a lower-cost iPhone are also getting tripped up by manufacturing difficulties, specifically around the casing. Apple is said to be reverting back to plastic for the back of the iPhone, which it used in the first three iPhone models before switching to glass, then metal.
As for a reason to trust Kuo over myriad other Apple analysts, he's been spot on about Apple's plans and timing of its 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro last year, along with iPod and iPad details. Before that, there were his accurate reports of the white iPhone 4 timing, Apple's discontinuation of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and revamps of the MacBook Pro line in mid-2011.
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