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Supply chain issue snags iPhone 6 production -- report

A redesign of the display for the next Apple smartphone has slowed production ahead of its expected unveiling on September 9, Reuters reports.

The iPhone 5S smartphone. CNET

A hiccup in the supply chain has slowed production of Apple's anticipated iPhone 6, leaving suppliers scrabbling to produce enough displays to prepare for the expected launch of the device, Reuters reported Friday.

The news agency, citing supply chain sources, said production of display panels for the new device was interrupted after the backlight used to illuminate the screen had to be changed to ensure the smartphone's screen would be bright enough. The redesign put on hold screen assembly for some of June and July, though production is now back on track and suppliers are moving quickly to get enough screens ready for the smartphone's launch, Reuters said.

It's unclear what the effect of such a supply chain issue could be, especially because Apple has yet to officially announce an unveiling date for the iPhone 6 and -- despite all the news reports surrounding the device -- hasn't confirmed the existence of the next iPhone. Tech website Re/code reported this month that Apple plans to announce the iPhone 6 on September 9. Most news sites and analysts believe that the new iPhone will come out in two sizes, with a 4.7-inch display and a 5.5-inch display -- larger than the latest 5S and 5C phones, which have 4-inch displays.

Apple faces intense pressure to push forward the design of the iPhone, its biggest moneymaker, as customers and investors look for new features to show the company can keep up with its innovative track record. Apple also needs to work hard to differentiate itself against higher-end devices from Samsung and cheaper smartphones from fast-growing Chinese handset makers such as Xiaomi.

Reuters reported that Apple, in trying to create the thinnest phone possible, initially opted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film for the display, instead of the more common two layers. The new specifications weren't bright enough, so Apple went back to add in the extra layer, which then delayed production.

An Apple representative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.