Apple’s premium iPhone 8 could enter full-scale production by mid to late September, according to an analyst memo on Monday. The research note also reiterated that the iPhone 8 was unlikely to have display-embedded Touch ID or a fingerprint sensor at all.
The analyst, Jun Zhang of Rosenblatt Securities, wrote in a research note that mass production of the iPhone could be moved to the third week of September, a week earlier than previously expected by the investment firm. Due to low yield rate, Apple is expected to leave out the fingerprint sensor on its premium 2017 flagship — a move that apparently caused the timeline change.
Zhang predicts that around 5 million iPhone 8 units will begin shipping in the September quarter before production is ramped up to between 30 and 35 million units in the December quarter. On the other hand, the incremental iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus devices will peak with 15 million units shipped in September and 35 million in December, Zhang wrote. Shipments of the iPhone 7s lineup are expected to wind down to about 25 to 28 million units by March 2018, the analyst added. By that time, he predicts that production of the iPhone 8 will increase to about 40 million units.
The production timeline provided by Zhang is fairly consistent with other predictions we’ve seen. Notably, it lines up well with research published by famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. Kuo predicted that supplies of the iPhone 8 will be extremely scarce after its launch in September, with just 2 to 4 million units available during the quarter.
While rumors have swirled about the iPhone 8’s Touch ID implementation, it’s looking increasingly likely that Apple will do away with the biometric authentication system in favor of advanced facial recognition — or “Face ID.” The iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, on the other hand, are expected to retain a Home button-embedded fingerprint sensor.
In addition to Face ID, the iPhone 8 is largely expected to sport new features such as an edge-to-edge OLED display with no bezels, wireless charging, and advanced augmented reality capabilities.