Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 8 might not begin shipping to customers until October, or even November, according to a report published Wednesday by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News via DigiTimes. Meanwhile, contrary to earlier reports alleging that the OLED-equipped flagship would cost upwards of $1,000, one UBS analyst recently suggested that the uber-premium handset might actually start out at a lower price point.
Citing that the Cupertino-company has encountered “technical issues” in its quest to implement an OLED display, DigiTimes is reporting that the device, though previously rumored for a September release, may actually be delayed until as late as November.
“There are signs indicating that Apple may delay the launch of its next-generation iPhone to October or even November, instead of September as usual,” DigiTimes reports, citing claims from the Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News. “Technical issues related to the lamination process of curved OLED panels, and the adoption of a 3D sensing system may cause the delay of the new iPhone devices.”
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard reports of a delayed iPhone 8. DigiTimes also reported back in March, citing similar production issues, that the OLED-equipped iPhone 8 wouldn’t even enter mass production until September of this year — around the same time it would have otherwise been unveiled alongside Apple’s modestly upgraded iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus handsets.
While the news of a delayed iPhone 8 is certainly bound to disappoint customers who were eagerly anticipating its launch sooner than later, there is a bit of a silver lining to the hold-up if one well-connected analyst is to be believed.
In his most recent research note — a copy of which was obtained Wednesday morning by MacRumors — UBS analyst, Steven Milunovich, expressed that a 64 GB iPhone 8 could cost between just $850 and $900 in the United States. If true, this lower price point would certainly be a practical move. One that might even come in light of Samsung’s Galaxy S8+, the company’s new 6.2-inch AMOLED-equipped flagship that starts out at around $850 for an entry-level 64 GB variant.
Mulinovich also cautioned, however, that an upgraded 256 GB model could potentially cost as much as $950 to $1,000 or more, depending on Apple’s storage configuration strategy, meaning that the higher-capacity iPhone 8 could very well be the first $1,000+ smartphone to be made commercially available in the U.S.
“Apple likes to position its entry-level products at the mid-market with ‘Pro/Plus’ products close to competitors at the high end,” Mulinovich said, while adding that “We do not think Apple will stray far from the price point of Samsung’s most expensive model at $840-850 and will keep the entry OLED model at $850-900.”
He went on to suggest that Apple’s other offerings this year, namely the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, would more than likely be priced in line with the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, while noting that even a 256 GB iPhone 7 Plus currently runs just $31 shy of a $1,000.