Apple confirmed last week what many diehard iPhone enthusiasts feared: the iPhone X is going to be significantly delayed, launching on November 3rd instead of in mid- to late-September when iPhones are always released. Going into Apple’s fall iPhone keynote event, reports said that Apple has been experiencing various issues with the iPhone X that needed attention before production could be ramped up. Now, a week later, we’ve learned that iPhone X delays could be even worse than we had hoped.
Raymond James’s chip analyst Chris Caso said in a note to investors seen by Barron’s that iPhone X production might not fully ramp up until the middle of October, just a few weeks ahead of the October 27th preorder date for the handset.
That’s a bleak prediction which suggests that the iPhone X availability at launch might be even more constrained than we initially thought. Here are Caso’s notes on the iPhone X delay:
Interestingly, while the industry widely anticipated a shift in iPhone ramp timing, our checks suggest there was an incremental delay in the build plans – with orders firmed up as recently as last week – shifting production more into the December quarter.
While our checks are ongoing, initial feedback from our meetings suggests that final production of iPhone X has not yet begun, with production expected to commence in mid-October. That production start is about a month later when compared to expectations a month ago, and about 2 months later than expectations at the end of June.
Notably, this is consistent with commentary from Diodes last week suggesting the timing had changed since reporting June quarter results and is important as it relates to tone and expectations for the December quarter.
If all this is accurate, it means Apple will have even more trouble meeting iPhone X demand this year. A recent report said that Apple would struggle well into 2018 to fulfill orders.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus go on sale this Friday, and while some of them are already sold out, the initial response from the public may not match last year’s demand. It appears that more customers looking for a new iPhone would rather hold out for the iPhone X than buy the iterative iPhone 8.
On the bright side, at least we all get more time to come to terms with the notch before we get our hands on Apple’s new iPhone X.