"I would say in general that the production quality requirements have grown more stringent over time as the expectation -- Apple's and end users' -- have risen. Consistently high quality production is difficult," Kay said.
Labor unrest and high turnover rates in Chinese factories may have contributed to iPhone 5 production delays, analysts said.
But the iPhone 5 supply issue is more visible now because of the high competition in the smartphone market, Gabriel Consulting's Olds said. In the past, people would wait for an iPhone, but that's not the case anymore.
"Android phones are much more competitive and I think that some of the folks looking at a four- to five-week wait for an iPhone 5 might take a hard look at giving an Android device a shot," he said.