KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest note issued to investors note that the mass production of the OLED iPhone 8 will be delayed to October-November. This is a significant delay as Apple usually starts mass producing iPhones in August/September.
The delayed production means that the OLED iPhone 8 will launch later than usual, though it is likely that we will see Apple formally announce the handset alongside the iPhone 7s in September. The delayed production is being attributed to the many of the new custom components that Apple has ordered its vendors to produce. While unverified, this likely includes a revolutionary 3D selfie camera and an embedded touch sensor into the display. Among other things, the handset is also expected to come with an all-glass design, wireless charging, fast charging, and more.
We have heard multiple times about the delay in iPhone 8 production before, and at this point, unless Apple’s supply chain vendors come up with a technological breakthrough, a delayed iPhone 8 launch is imminent. This will mean that the OLED iPhone 8 will launch just before the start of the holiday season, though even then its supply is expected to be limited in the initial few weeks.
A delayed launch and supply issues at launch does not bode well for Apple as it will negatively hurt the company’s last financial quarter of this year and the first financial quarter of next year. A delayed launch means that flagship Android phones will be available longer on the market without any stiff competition, and modest upgrades to the iPhone 7s — faster internals with the same design — will make them an unattractive proposition against the likes of smartphones from Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, and LG.
This delay has led KGI analyst Kuo to cut down on his iPhone shipment prediction in the second half of 2017 from 110 million units to 80-90 million units.