Foxconn Ships 46,500 iPhone X Devices, Supply Concerns Persist


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With the highly-anticipated iPhone X just a few weeks away from going up for pre-order, it’d be reasonable to assume that Apple’s assembly partners are churning them out like butter by now. A new report, however, is claiming this morning that Foxconn has only just recently shipped its first batch of iPhone X devices, totaling a paltry 46,500 units.

Furthermore, the inaugural shipment was allegedly split with some of the devices traveling from Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou and Shanghai provinces, respectively, to The Netherlands and to the United Arab Emirates, according to a Chinese supply chain source quoted by DigiTimes. Both of those countries are among the over 50 markets in which Apple will launch the iPhone X on November 3.

“Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai) has started shipping iPhone X devices, with the first batch of 46,500 units already being shipped out from Zhengzhou and Shanghai to the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates,” the report said, while cautioning that “The first-batch shipments of the iPhone X units were much lower than the previous iPhone models, which apparently will make the iPhone X one of the most difficult-to-find smartphone these days.”

Supply and Demand

Of course, we’ve known for quite some time that iPhone X availability would be limited at launch; however this morning’s report gives us a pretty good idea of what we can truly expect moving into the holiday season and beyond. Though the report cites that Foxconn has quadrupled its iPhone X production yields from 100,000 to 400,000 units per day, this otherwise substantial sum is actually a spit in the bucket so far as iPhone X supply will ultimately relate to demand.

Thus far, multiple reports have suggested that the main obstacle hindering iPhone X production is the device’s all-new TrueDepth camera system, which has proved much more of a challenge to produce than Apple expected. The TrueDepth camera on iPhone X will facilitate 3D image processing, advanced augmented reality applications, and the company’s next-generation of biometric security dubbed Face ID.

At this point, it would seem that iPhone X availability is going to be far, far more restrained at launch than even the analysts expected. The historically accurate Ming-Chi Kuo, for instance, recently predicted that Apple will ship as many as 35 million iPhone X devices by the end of 2017; however, it’ll be interesting to see how the company is able to reach this goal at its current production rate.

Of course, while your best chance of scoring an iPhone X on launch day (Friday, October 27th) remains waking up and logging on at 12:01 am to pre-order,  just be forewarned that shipping estimates and availability will likely extend weeks, or even months, into the future shortly thereafter.

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