Whilst we still aren’t entirely sure what the iPhone 8 will look like, there have been a flurry of rumors in the last month that the device will not be launching to Apple’s normal annual schedule.
Today, Nikkei is the latest publication to claim that the iPhone 8 may not be in customer’s hands until late October or November. The report pinpoints the OLED panel, wireless charging components and new circuit boards as the reason for the production problems.
Reliable Apple analyst KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo made similar comments yesterday, noting that Apple’s desire to use many custom-designed parts has impacted yields. Other analysts have also corroborated these claims.
It is practically common knowledge that Samsung is the exclusive supplier for the iPhone 8 curved OLED panels this year. In the Nikkei report, a source is cited as saying that Samsung is ‘facing challenges in delivering what Apple wants’ although it doesn’t elaborate on exactly what is causing problems.
An analyst at IHS Markit says that Samsung originally wanted to have mass production of Apple’s OLED panels by May, but the schedule has been pushed back until late June.
Nikkei also says that the wireless charging components are also causing production bottlenecks with ‘Apple and its suppliers … still working to resolve overheating issues’. Apple is also demanding a much smaller printed circuit board than in previous iPhones to make room for a bigger battery, and this miniaturization is also facing quality control issues.
Of course, Apple is yet to announce anything publicly about the new devices but the recent pattern has been for Apple to announce new iPhones in early September, with the models going on sale a week or two later.
For 2017, Apple is expected to announce three new iPhones in total. Two phones will be modest internal upgrades over the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, retaining the same external design. These are being dubbed ‘iPhone 7s’ by rumors but the final marketing names are unknown.
The third new phone is the one everyone is anticipating, the ‘iPhone 8’ (again unconfirmed name). This new high-end flagship is rumoured to feature a large 5.8-inch curved OLED screen, wireless charging, 3D-sensing front cameras, an Apple A11 SoC, and all new external design.
The new chassis is expected to dramatically reduce the bezels on the front of the phone, enabling Apple to pack a much larger display in roughly the same physical size as the 4.7-inch iPhones.
The premium OLED iPhone 8 has been rumored to also come with a premium price, some murmurs have suggested a price tag around $1000.
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