Demand for Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 8 is going to be through the roof when it is released later this year. Apple fans are long overdue for a new design since Apple decided to reuse its 2014 iPhone designs yet again in 2016. Thankfully, it looks like they’re definitely going to get what they want in 2017 as Apple ditches the home button and the thick bezels, and opts for a more modern design and an OLED display.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that yet another insider with a decent track record has reported that the iPhone 8 will be delayed, though the delay might not be as long as others have said.
Multiple recent reports have said that Apple’s new iPhone 8 will not be released at the same time as the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. Those two phones are supposedly still on track for a September release, but the redesigned iPhone 8 might not debut until October or even November, if those rumors are to be believed.
Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White agrees that the OLED-equipped iPhone 8 won’t be released alongside the two other models, but he says the “delay” should only be a few weeks. If White is correct, that means we’re likely looking at a release date sometime in early October. White has a mixed track record, but he has accurately reported on unreleased Apple products in the past. For example, he was one of the first to reveal that Apple was working on the iPad mini back in 2012.
Apart from the delay, White says that his supply chain sources have given him some insights into a few exciting new features Apple has planned for the iPhone 8. Among them are new augmented reality capabilities, new 3D sensing features, and secure facial recognition for unlocking the phone and authenticating Apple Play transactions.
“First off, our smartphone contact believes the 3D sensing technology and OLED displays will only be offered with the 5.8-inch iPhone 8,” White wrote in a note to clients that was seen by BGR. “However, our contact strongly believes the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will be delayed by several weeks due to challenges around the 3D sensing technology but still in time for the December holidays. This is not the first time that we have heard about a potential delay with a new iPhone; however, our contact was so emphatic about the delay that we are taking this data point more seriously. Since it is only April, this situation could improve.”
The analyst continued, “Essentially, our contact believes customers will be able to pre-order the new 5.8-inch iPhone 8 along with the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 8 in September; however, the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will not be available for delivery until several weeks later. The 3D sensing capability is important to Apple and has a host of use cases outside of AR. For example, 3D sensing will allow a user to open their iPhone with their face in a secure manner (cannot be tricked with a photo) and approve payment on Apple Pay, while potentially negating the need for proximity sensors that are used when holding the iPhone near one’s ear. Our contact believes approximately half of the new iPhone 8 shipment volume will go toward the 5.8-inch version.”
White’s reporting comes following meetings with multiple LCD panel makers, smartphone vendors and a component supplier in Taiwan. While he neglects to specify the names of the companies he met with, some or all of them are presumably in Apple’s supply chain.