According to multiple reports issued over the past few months, the iPhone 8 will be delayed. Some were more optimistic than others, saying the most impressive iPhone to date will only see minor delays. Others suggested that the iPhone 8’s launch may be pushed back by up to two months, a move that would significantly affect Apple’s bottom line during the lucrative Christmas quarter.
A new report says that Apple will have iPhone 8 units at launch in September, but no more than four million, as suppliers are still having yield problems. It sounds like terrible news for fans eager to score Apple’s first major iPhone redesign in three years, but there’s also a silver lining.
According to Digitimes’s sources, Apple is still facing yield issues with the OLED panels that will be used in the iPhone 8. Other suppliers are on schedule, the report seems to suggest. TSMC’s revenue surged 20% in May compared to April, on account of the first A11 chip shipments to Apple.
Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron are stepping up efforts to hire more workers for their iPhone assembly lines.
But Samsung apparently has had issues making the OLED screens Apple wants for the iPhone. Apple may only have 3 million to 4 million OLED iPhones in stores in September, as a consequence of Samsung Display’s current problems. The report notes that it would be difficult for Apple to ship 50 million to 60 million OLED iPhones this year if the issues persist.
So what’s the silver lining?
Well, Samsung already makes millions of OLED displays for its own Galaxy handsets. The notion that the iPhone screen has yield problems seem to suggest these aren’t your regular OLED screens that go into Galaxy phones. That might indicate that the iPhone 8 could be just as exciting as we heard — and yes, that means having a fingerprint sensor that built into the screen. The iPhone 8 display should also have a pressure sensitive layer that would enable 3D Touch on the iPhone, a critical technology needed to replace some of the home button’s functions.
It should be noted that Samsung ditched its own plans to embed fingerprint sensor into the screens of its flagships this year, fearing launch delays. Apple’s iPhone 8 will use the company’s own Touch ID fingerprint scanner technology though, while Samsung was trying to integrate third-party tech into the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.
Earlier reports detailing the fight for Apple’s OLED business did say that Samsung is the only company that can fulfill Apple’s demands right now, even if that means it has to deal with lower yields in the beginning.