Amid reports that Apple is struggling to work out software kinks associated with the iPhone 8’s 3D cameras, a new research note from Merrill Lynch (via CNBC) claims that the launch of Apple’s next-gen iPhone may be pushed back by three to four weeks. If this timetable pans out, it would mean that the iPhone 8 may not arrive on store shelves until mid-October. While this is certainly frustrating news for anyone eager to upgrade, a mid-October launch isn’t all that bad given previous claims that the iPhone 8 release might be pushed all the way back to November.
As for the impetus behind the delay, analysts Wamsi Mohan and Stefano Pascale echo previous reports which claim that Apple is still trying to get a grip on a few technical hurdles involving the iPhone 8. Citing anonymous sources within Apple’s supply chain, Mohan and Pascale believe the technical issues at hand center on the iPhone 8’s Touch ID sensor and the device’s 3D camera sensors.
From what we can gather, Apple is aiming to embed a Touch ID sensor into the iPhone 8’s OLED display. Apple’s early efforts, however, reportedly resulted in disappointing yields and inconsistent performance. In subsequent weeks, we’ve seen conflicting reports on the matter, with some saying that Apple finally managed to get things working properly. At the same time, other reports have indicated that Apple won’t be able to figure things out in time and that it may abandon Touch ID altogether in favor of a facial recognition system built upon advanced 3D camera sensors.
That said, it appears that the iPhone 8 release may be subject to delays no matter what. If Apple opts for Touch ID, a delay is seemingly in the cards. And if Apple opts to replace Touch ID with facial recognition, a delay is reportedly inevitable as well.
Consequently, Merril Lynch anticipates that iPhone sales during the upcoming September quarter will take a significant hit.
“The BofAML analysts cut their expectations for September quarter shipments by 11 million and the December quarter by 6 million,” the report reads. “For fiscal year 2017, the analysts expect 11 million fewer shipments for 2017, down to 208.1 million.”