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What the heck is going on with iPhone X production?

iPhone X Launch

They say where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’s a whole lot of smoke surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhone X launch. The iPhone X is unquestionably the phone most avid Apple fans are waiting for, and analysts believe tens of millions of people will be looking to purchase the device right out of the gate when it’s released on November 3rd. At the same time, persistent rumors of severe manufacturing holdups have painted a bleak picture of iPhone X supply at launch. In fact, each day brings with it new tales of woe from Foxconn factories and Apple’s component supply chain.

Friday morning is no different, but this time around we’re seeing one of the most peculiar reports so far. If it’s accurate, and it just might be, then Apple’s iPhone X supply at launch might be even more constrained than we thought.

In the recent past, Apple has been… not so good at ensuring there is enough product supply at launch to meet demand. The Apple Watch is a good example of the company’s troubles — especially the first-generation model — but the most recent and likely best example is AirPods. Apple’s wireless earbuds were released last December and Apple STILL isn’t shipping new orders right away. At this point, it’s just sad.

On to the iPhone X, and reports have consistently stated that Apple’s production woes continue. We already know conclusively that Apple and its partners are having problems since the release was pushed back to November, but things are even worse than we thought if this morning’s report is to be believed.

Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record with early rumors (often because plans change), but the site has many sources in Apple’s supply chain and its reporting at this stage in a product’s life cycle is often spot on. That’s bad news in this case, because the site is reporting that a key component for the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera and sensor array just began shipping from one of Apple’s suppliers.

“Fabless IC firm Himax Technologies has begun shipments of chips based on wafer-level optics (WLO) technology to Apple, according to industry sources,” Digitimes reporters Julian Ho and Jessie Shen wrote. “The solution is reportedly a key component of the iPhone X’s face ID sensor.”

The report goes on to note that ChipMOS Technologies is also supplying WLO chips for the iPhone X, but a change in the supply chain this close to launch can’t be a good thing. Apple’s iPhone X becomes available for preorder in just two weeks on October 27th, and the phone will then be released a week later on November 3rd.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.