When will it come out?
The rumor: There are conflicting theories regarding the iPhone 8’s launch window. Some have speculated that Apple may miss the traditional September launch window because a lot of custom-ordered parts, including pieces for the display, wireless charging, and printed circuit boards, won’t be ready by September, according to the latest findings from Nikkei Asian Review. The iPhone 7s models are expected to come out on schedule, however.
In this report, an analyst from research company IHS Markit confirmed that Samsung is now the exclusive OLED supplier for the new iPhones, since Samsung specializes in manufacturing curved smartphone displays. However, the analyst says that “Samsung is facing challenges in delivering what Apple wants,” even though they’ve cranked out close to 75 million curved iPhone displays so far.
This is not the first time we’ve heard that Apple has faced roadblocks during the iPhone 8’s production. This follows an earlier report from reputable KGI analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, which reported that the iPhone 8 will be out in October or November due to these supply issues. Previously, Digitimes reported that Apple was facing delays in developing its proprietary fingerprint sensor for the new OLED-equipped iPhone 8. Additionally, Japanese news site Macotakara reported that STMicroelectronics, the new supplier of the iPhone’s 3D camera sensors, needed more time to ramp up mass production. With all these production issues, some reports even suggest that the iPhone 8 won’t come out until 2018.
Then there are the analysts at JPMorgan who predict Apple will take the wraps off its new iPhone at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, something the company hasn’t done since 2010. JPMorgan says in a note obtained by 9to5Mac that Apple won’t start selling the phone until fall after previewing it at WWDC, which would fly in the face of Apple-established tradition.
Plausible? At first, it seemed very unlikely that Apple would miss its typical September launch date. Plus, Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to iPhone rumors. But now that Nikkei Asian Review and Ming-Chi Kuo are jumping on board, this rumor gets a credibility boost. Apple is tinkering with assembling OLEDs for the first time, as well as incorporating new fingerprint and camera sensors—so if there was an iPhone model that requires a little more time, the iPhone 8 would be it.
The JPMorgan prediction seems far less likely. Apple CEO Tim Cook on the company’s second-quarter earnings call said that people are now pausing their iPhone purchases because they see rumors of upcoming iPhones and want to wait. Announcing an iPhone 8 in June and not making it available to buy until September would all but kill Apple’s iPhone business—at least without hefty discounts to spur sales.
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