A new report citing sources familiar with Apple’s supply chain delivers both good and bad news. It looks like the mass production of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s series is already underway, which is obviously a good thing, but that doesn’t mean the iPhone 8 will be ready in time. Furthermore, the report notes that the iPhone 7s will be made of glass, which might leave some people a bit puzzled.
Quoting its usual “upstream supply chain” sources, Digitimes says that suppliers are already producing components for the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s, the 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus, and the 5.8-inch iPhone 8.
The iPhone 7s models have reinforced glass chassis and aluminum metal frames, while the iPhone 8 has the same kind of glass sandwich design, although the metal isn’t referenced. It might be stainless steel, according to some rumors.
What’s interesting about these details is that they suggest the iPhone 7s could have wireless charging. Recent reports have said the phone would have an aluminum housing like last year’s models, while a one rumor in particular also said that Apple’s iPhone 7s and 7s Plus would not support wireless charging.
The iPhone 8, the report notes, will be the only new iPhone version to feature an OLED screen, with Samsung making some 80 million OLED displays for Apple in the second half of the year. Samsung Display will make an additional 80 million screens for its own phones and for other smartphone makers, and it will keep some flexibility in case Apple orders more iPhones.
Digitimes expects Apple to ship 50-55 million iPhone 8 units this year, although mass-production of the phone should start after mid-September. Apple might have on hand only around 3 million units in the third quarter, the report notes. Assuming the data is accurate, it means the iPhone 8 will be widely available in October or later.
As for the iPhone 7s, Apple is expected to ship 25-30 million units in the second half of the year.