According to the latest KGI Securities research note Monday, Apple’s iPhone 8 could be in extremely limited supply to end 2017. The note, obtained by MacRumors, blames the delay on significant hardware upgrades like a custom edge-to-edge OLED display panel, a redesigned thin-film 3D Touch module, 3D sensing cameras, ten-nanometer A11 Fusion processors and substrate-like printed circuit board.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes in the note that Apple’s suppliers are now expected to ramp up production of the handset as late as October or November versus the usual August-September timeframe for a new iPhone. As a result, Kuo believes that iPhone 8 will launch in September to face “severe supply shortages” for some time.
As for the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, the revered analyst expects those devices to launch in September without any significant supply bottlenecks.
Here’s an excerpt from Kuo’s note to clients:
While we believe the announcement and launch time of the new iPhones will be similar to previous ones, production ramp up of OLED iPhone could be delayed to as late as October-November compared to the usual ramp up period of August-September, due to increased production difficulty.
Any potential delay or limited iPhone 8 supply could hurt Apple’s results for the fall and holiday quarters as other Android manufacturers are expected to roll out their Galaxy S8-like designs. On the other hand, Apple’s customers are loyal and people in the market for a brand new iPhone design are likely to wait until the new OLED iPhone is available.
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Kuo thinks iPhone 8 delay “won’t undermine actual demand” for the handset due to its advanced technologies. As for the LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models, he cautions they may not be as appealing to would-be shoppers as iPhone 8 if other Android vendors adopt near full-screen designs.
From the research note:
Production ramp up of OLED iPhone could be delayed to October-November (previously estimated to be August-September, as in previous years). That said, if new features, such as 3D sensing, can provide good user experience, a temporary supply shortfall won’t undermine actual demand, which may be deferred to 1H18. In that case, potential contribution starting late-2Q17 from OLED iPhone could be partially delayed by 3-6 months for related suppliers.
The analyst has revised his prediction for 2017 iPhone shipments from 110 million units in the second half of 2017 down to 80-90 million units as the worst case scenario. “Notably, we see a higher probability of the worst case scenario becoming a reality,” he wrote.
Would you wait a little bit longer until iPhone 8 became available?