A supply chain report out of Taiwan claims that Apple is facing significant yield problems with the 3D sensors used in the TrueDepth camera module of the iPhone X. One source says that production volumes for the flagship phone are so low that they are being measured in tens of thousands of units per day …

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If the report is accurate, this suggests that Apple may not even be able to fulfil preorders by the end of the year.

The Nikkei Asian Review reports that the yield rates – the percentage of components that meet quality requirements – is lower than expected.

Two executives working for iPhone suppliers told Nikkei Asian Review that 3-D sensor part makers are still struggling to reach a satisfactory level of output, and to boost their yield rate […]

Both sources were unable to offer clarity on whether Apple could meet large orders after iPhone X’s launch. One of the sources said that iPhone X was being churned out in small quantities, around some tens of thousands daily.

An earlier KGI report was even more pessimistic, suggesting that production earlier in the month was even less than 10,000 units per day.

A Taipei-based analyst said that this was, however, the only major component still limiting production volumes. It had earlier been reported that Samsung was struggling to produce the OLED displays – more complex than used in the company’s own phones – with a yield rate of just 60%.

Jeff Pu, an analyst at Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting, said that he expected mass production of iPhone X in the second week of October and that handsets would begin to leave China for global distribution a week later.

This supports an earlier claim that although the iPhone X is well into the planned manufacturing period, it has not yet reached what Apple would consider mass production.

Pu estimated that Foxconn has made only 2 million iPhone X units to date, but is expecting the number to hit 10M in October, and 40M by the end of the year. With KGI predicting that preorders could top 50M units, that would mean that Apple couldn’t even fulfil those orders before early 2018.


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