While there have been numerous rumors that the iPhone X (or iPhone 8, or iPhone Edition) could be delayed, a new supply chain report Monday claims that the premium flagship will not start production until November or December. In addition, production delays may also affect the two rumored iPhone 7s devices, the report said.
The news was first broke by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, which reported that yield rates at Apple’s two primary manufacturing partners, Foxconn and Pegatron, have not yet reached mass-production levels. The hold-up is attributed to another critical component — specifically, a flexible motherboard associated with controlling the OLED display. The publication goes on to claim that the OLED iPhone X will only ship in “small volumes” this year. Notably, today’s EDN report forecasts the latest delay of the new iPhone we’ve seen thus far.
The supply chain report also suggests that the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus have yet to begin mass production, although the publication did not expand on any potential problems or issues that could have caused such a snag. Volume production of the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus at Foxconn and Pegatron are expected to hit full swing in August, a couple months later than usual. The EDN report was also unclear on whether the two lower-priced iPhones will be delayed, or for how long.
News of possible delays and other issues besetting the iPhone X’s production and release have circulated around for several months now. Noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in April that the iPhone X will launch on-schedule in September, but will face “severe supply shortages” after its announcement. Supply chain reports also seem to indicate that critical component shortages could affect the premium iPhone’s production, and reports of engineering issues at Apple suggest that things aren’t going well software-side, either.
According to DigiTimes, Foxconn will be the primary supplier of the premium OLED iPhone X, whilst also producing small volumes of the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus. Pegatron will manufacture about 65 percent of the iPhone 7s and a small portion of the iPhone X, while a third supplier, Wistron, will mainly produce the iPhone 7s Plus. The two “s” iPhones will retain the LCD screen that’s standard on current generation Apple smartphones and add wireless charging.
The premium iPhone X — which could start as high as $1,200 — is expected to carry a revolutionary new design including features such as an edge-to-edge OLED screen, a “Function Area” in lieu of a Home button with possible display-embedded Touch ID, and 3D sensors and lasers for augmented reality and advanced biometric recognition.