The iPhone 7 is hitting stores next month, but Apple is already reportedly having supply issues with the upcoming iPhone generation. This is the same kind of rumor we hear every year ahead of a new iPhone launch and so far, they’ve been fairly accurate. Last year, for example, more popular iPhone 6s models were very difficult to find for several weeks after the phone’s release.
This time around, a report from Asia singles out a couple of issues that are apparently affecting iPhone 7 production, but it also claims that Apple is already being conservative with component orders this year.
The two problems that may affect Apple’s iPhone production concern the waterproof speaker and the dual lens camera, as suppliers are apparently experiencing low yields for these components.
“If Apple sticks to its launch schedule from last year, there may not be enough supply at the beginning, as some suppliers are still trying to fix low yield rates of their components,” a source told Nikkei.
“We estimate total iPhone 7 builds to be 74 (million) in 2H16F, compared to 84 (million) for iPhone 6s in 2H15. Together with pricing pressure, we expect most Apple food chain suppliers to see (year-on-year) revenue decline for the rest of the year,” Yuanta Investment Consulting analyst Jeff Pu wrote in a note to customers. Pu cut his forecast for the second half of the year because supposed defects in waterproof speakers and dual-camera modules have yet to be fixed.
So will there be enough iPhone 7 units to go around at launch? It’s too early to tell. But Nikkei notes other reports that say Apple has cut orders from its suppliers compared to last year.
“The total order for core processor chips for Apple’s new iPhones may drop up to 15% compared with last year,” a source said, while a different person said that Apple is being very “conservative” with orders this year. A third source said that a major supplier got an initial order for only 54 million units of unspecified parts that will go into the iPhone 7.