This week, Nikkei reported that the difficulty of producing the 3D sensors that power facial recognition in the highly anticipated iPhone X is leading to manufacturing delays. This could ultimately lead to shortages when pre-orders for the device open on October 27th.
The Wall Street Journal reported nearly the exact same thing in late September. And these aren’t the only reports of manufacturing delays. For seemingly as long as the iPhone X has been on people’s radars—it was previously referred to as the Anniversary iPhone or iPhone 8—there have been rumors that Apple would have problems delivering the device to consumers in a timely fashion.
Earlier last month, things started sounding positively apocalyptic if you’re one of the people eagerly waiting for “the best” iPhone of the year. On September 15, just three days after Apple announced the iPhone X, Apple Insider obtained a research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that said Apple won’t be able to meet demand for the iPhone X until the first half of 2018. Kuo, of KGI Securities, is a noted analyst when it comes to Apple and is frequently right. He correctly predicted Apple dropping Touch ID in the iPhone X, and even anticipated the cellular iteration of the Apple Watch Series 3. If he says there’s good reason to think iPhones will be slow to reach consumers, then there’s a solid chance he’s right.
Around the same time, Fast Company released its own report about potential delays, which claimed a “sense of panic” had overtaken Apple. The concerns stemmed, again, from with Touch ID, the new Face ID system, and potential OLED display shortages. Though there was also some concern with getting the wireless charging working as well.
Ultimately, the phone Apple showed off in September, showed no signs that the company had encountered any problems at all. Sure Touch ID was gone, but the phone had a striking design, an OLED display, wireless charging, and a new facial recognition system. The only snafu was that the phone would ship in November instead of September with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. This, naturally seems to support many of the claims above—that technology implementation and supply have led to a later shipping time frame.