More and more reports seem to indicate that Apple’s iPhone 8 might not be available in stores this coming September, which is usually when new iPhones arrive. It seems like some of the novel features in Apple’s 2017 flagship also come with manufacturing issues that could be harder than expected to overcome. A new research note now says that one of the key iPhone 8 features that won’t be seen on any of the phone’s biggest rivals may actually be the reason Apple and its partners are having so much trouble setting up production.
Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri wrote in a report seen by Apple Insider that Apple is dealing with yield issues for the iPhone 8’s Touch ID sensor. The analyst says that reports suggesting 3D sensing tech is what’s causing delays with the iPhone 8 are not accurate.
“For the 5.8-inch OLED version, the biggest bottleneck remains integrating an under-glass fingerprint sensor into the display — the current yield rate of Apple’s in-house AuthenTec solution remains low, and AAPL seems unwilling to use other vendors’ products,” the analyst wrote.
A report said a few weeks ago that Samsung had similar plans for the Galaxy S8, but Synaptics wasn’t able to deliver its in-screen fingerprint scanning technology in time. That’s why the Galaxy S8’s back was redesigned to incorporate the fingerprint sensor next to the camera.
Arcuri says that if Apple can’t solve the issues, it has only three options: ditch Touch ID altogether in favor of the new facial recognition capabilities in the phone (which would be an awful idea), move the Touch ID scanner to the back (still quite awful, but less awful), or delay the iPhone 8 launch. In the event Apple goes with the third option, the company would likely still unveil the iPhone 8 alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus in September.