Apple’s three 2017 iPhones are currently in volume production ahead of an on-schedule September launch, according to reports from the company’s supply chain.
According to DigiTimes, “most” companies in Apple’s Asian supply chain are reporting strong July sales, which the publication takes as a sign that iPhone production is ramping up. Additionally, while supplies of the iPhone 8 will be constrained due to high demand and expectations for the device, there will reportedly be no shortages of the iPhone 7s or iPhone 7s Plus, the publication added.
A previous Reuters report from Aug. 1 also backs up DigiTimes’ claim of booming business in the Asian supply chain. According to the news organization, Apple’s supply network is already reaping the benefit of expected iPhone component and assembly orders. That includes camera lens-maker Largan Precision, component producer Catcher Technology, and massive iPhone assembler Foxconn Electronics. High consumer demand for the 2017 lineup should keep these companies busy throughout the latter half of the year, DigiTimes reported.
Interestingly, today’s report seems to contradict a recent research note published by famed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to Kuo, while the iPhone 7s lineup is indeed in volume production, the iPhone 8 won’t be mass produced until mid-September. Currently, Apple’s premium flagship is in an engineering phase, and will enter final product certification testing in late August, Kuo added.
Both reports do agree that the iPhone 8 is likely to be unveiled alongside its iPhone 7s stablemates at Apple’s annual fall announcement event in September. For his part, Kuo predicts at launch the iPhone 8 will be available in extremely limited quantities and only in specific configurations and colors. That’s a claim Kuo first predicted earlier this year, and he’s stuck to it since. DigiTimes also reported that the iPhone 8 might fall short of high consumer demand, though both reports do suggest that Apple has managed to mitigate its global supply chain problems.
The iPhone 8 is largely expected to sport revolutionary new features like an advanced facial recognition system, enhanced AR capabilities, a virtual Home button and “Function Area,” and an edge-to-edge OLED display. Notably, reports have predicted that the iPhone 8 could cost upwards of $1,000 a device.
The iPhone 7s lineup will retain Apple’s usual LCD displays, but all three handsets are rumored to be equipped with inductive wireless charging.
According to the latest reports, the iPhone 8 could also come in various new color options, including a copper-gold or bronze-like hue; a mirrored silver color; and both a classic jet black and jet white — though whether the latter option will be available at launch is up for debate. But while various reports may not line up completely, it’s probably a safe bet to say that it’s going to be extremely difficult to get your hands on an iPhone 8 right out of the gate.