Apple looks set to delay the release of its iPhone 8, after a series of reports claimed the company would not have the device ready in time for a September on–sale date.
That doesn’t mean the rejigged handset won’t be unveiled then, just that constrained supply means it won’t be readily available until October or November.
Why? Here are five reasons being cited for the delay.
1) OLED issues
Apple is said to have done a deal with Samsung to supply the OLED screens for the iPhone 8, with 75 million displays ordered. However, the Korean company is apparently struggling to meet Apple’s demands for the displays.
Sources close to the supply chain have not said what Apple’s problems with the screens are, but getting them right means the release date is slipping further behind schedule.
2) Fingerprint scanner
It’s long been mooted that Apple wants to place its Touch ID fingerprint scanner beneath the screen of the iPhone 8. However, sources have told analysts that there are issues with this approach, forcing Apple to explore placing the security feature on the back of the phone, as Samsung has done with the Galaxy S8.
Leaked schematic drawings and renders even show off such plans. However, delaying the device’s release means it’s likely that it’s sticking with its original plan.
3) Circuit boards
Reports from Japan say that Apple’s plans to use a smaller circuit board inside the iPhone 8, in conjunction with a bigger battery, are also causing problems.
Rushing the release of the iPhone 8 instead of fixing this problem could cost Apple dearly, as consumers could receive devices that don’t work properly.
4) 3D sensing
One of the iPhone 8’s major features is believed to be 3D sensing tech, allowing both its front and rear cameras to recognise faces and work with a new range of augmented reality apps.
However, these components are thought to be running into trouble as production starts to ramp up. Seeing as this function could give the phone the edge on rival devices, Apple won’t want to ditch it completely, hence the delay in release.
5) Supply issues
All of these problems add up to one simple problem: a constraint on supply. Apple may have some phones ready for September, but with demand so high, they’re likely to be sold out within hours.
The question is, does Apple disappoint consumers by asking them to pre–order then wait up to eight weeks for an iPhone 8? Or does it hold back launch until supply is settled and steady, potentially losing customers to Samsung and Google.