Forget iPhone 8 leaks, will Apple launch it on time? Ming-Chi Kuo answers

While tipsters have been actively trying to guess the design of the 10th anniversary iPhone 8, analysts are worried that it may not launch in time due to delay in production.

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 08:51:40

By HT Correspondent


At a time when the internet is rife with speculations about Apple’s 10th anniversary edition iPhone 8 or iPhone X, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the phone may be launched in September but with severe shortages.

Other spin-offs of the logic suggest that Apple may showcase the phone but may make it available later in the year.

Japanese site Mac Otakara was the first to suggest that the OLED featuring iPhone 8 may launch “very much” behind the the LCD models. And now noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities in a new report has said that Apple will debut the OLED iPhone in September, but the device will face “severe supply shortages” for some time.

Watch the iPhone 8 concept here

Kuo in his report says that Apple will only be able to ramp up production of the OLED-based smartphone in October-November as compared to August-September in case of previous models.

“Production ramp up of OLED iPhone could be delayed to October-November (previously estimated to be August-September, as in previous years),” Kuo’s reports reads.

Interestingly, Bloomberg, noted analyst Brian White and Barclays had forecasted a similar fate for the special edition iPhone 8.

Ming-Chi Kuo’s Apple iPhone 8 predictions
iPhone 8 to come in three sizes including a 4.7-inch screen variantiPhone 8 may come with wireless chargingiPhone 8 will come with new 3D sensing module and advanced augmented reality abilitiesiPhone 8 to come with OLED display and a 10-nanometer processor Phone may launch in September but with severe shortageShipments estimate to be reduced by 15 to 20%

However, Kuo’s report is not all alarming. The analyst believes that the delay in production “won’t undermine actual demand,” as long as the iPhone 8 lives up to the hype, but the heaviest demand might be pushed back until as far as the first quarter of 2018, when the bulk of users could get their hands on the device.

“...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,” Kuo’s report further reads.

Kuo has claimed that the new 4.7-inch variant of the iPhone 8 will sport a larger 2,700 mAh battery instead of a 1,960 mAh unit used in all of its 4.7-inch iPhones released earlier.

Kuo also explains the delay in production and attributes it to a “potential downside risk to shipments” of all three iPhone models believed to launch this year, with a second risk coming from Apple’s competitors.

“In other words, severe supply shortages may persist for a while after the new models are launched, capping total shipments of new iPhones in 2H17,” Kuo explains, adding, that production delays in this year’s OLED iPhone are again sourced from the device’s intricate manufacturing processes, thanks to numerous upgrades including its customized OLED panel, new 10-nanometer A11 processor, all-new 3D Touch module, substrate-like printed circuit board, and 3D sensing.

Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi are all gearing up to launch “high-end full-screen smartphones” in 2017, and all could have an impact specifically on the LCD models of the 2017 iPhone, according to Kuo, because those models “do not have full-screen form factors.”

The analyst believes that the “worst case scenario” could see iPhone shipments decrease by 15 to 20% and result in 80 to 90 million units shipped, versus a previous estimate of 100-110 million units (a 60:40 weighting is placed for the OLED and LCD iPhone models). Ultimately, Kuo said that, “We see a higher probability of the worst case scenario coming to pass.”

First Published: Apr 25, 2017 08:50:33


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