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Apple’s iPhone 8 delay is starting to sound like great news

Published Apr 25th, 2017 1:05PM EDT
iPhone 8 Release Date Delay Samsung OLED
Image: Gabor Balogh

A flurry of reports from different sources have basically said the same thing about the iPhone 8’s launch. The phone may be introduced in September when Apple usually announces new smartphones, but iPhone 8 supply will be significantly constrained at launch. The worst news came earlier this week when a trustworthy analyst with inside knowledge of Apple’s roadmap said the iPhone 8 may be delayed all the way to November.

A brand new report also indicates the iPhone 8 will see a one to two month delay, as various suppliers are facing yield issues with specific iPhone 8 components. It may sound like bad news for Apple fans but it’s actually great news, because this particular report also offers a few interesting new details.

Previous rumors explained that Apple’s new in-display Touch ID sensor and the 3D front-facing camera are the kinds of iPhone 8 parts that are giving Apple and its suppliers plenty of headaches right now. But Nikkei has more details about Apple’s issues, which actually make this delay sound pretty exciting.

First of all, it looks like Samsung is having trouble making the OLED display Apple needs. The report notes that “a supply chain source and an analyst say that Samsung is facing challenges in delivering what Apple wants.” Let that sink in for a moment. The only company in the world that can produce high-end smartphone displays for Apple in large numbers, and the company who made the gorgeous Infinity Display on the Galaxy S8, can’t deliver what Apple wants as quickly as Apple wants it.

That can only mean that the iPhone 8 will have a screen unlike anything on the market, the kind of display that could incorporate a home button and all the front-facing elements of a smartphone like the camera, front sensors, and speaker. The report doesn’t elaborate on the matter, but Samsung clearly has its work cut out for it.

“There might be a one to two-month delay in Samsung’s production of OLED panels for Apple,” IHS Markit Brian Huh analyst said. “Samsung originally plans to begin churning out OLED panels in May but now the schedule will likely be pushed back to the end of June or sometime in July.”

The report also notes that Apple suppliers are working to resolve overheating issues in the wireless charging modules, which may be another cause of delays. That’s also great news because it seems to indicate Apple wants wireless charging in the next iPhone, which would be a first for its smartphone line.

Finally, the report says that Apple has yield issues with printed circuit boards. That’s an important detail, as it concerns the battery in the phone.

“There is a new design for a much smaller printed circuit board to allow a more powerful battery for this upcoming iPhone…but there are still some quality issue to overcome to achieve smooth mass production,” IDC analyst Sean Kao said.

A leak the other day offered the alleged schematics of the iPhone 8 which showed a significantly smaller main board than what we’d expect to see inside a smartphone, and two batteries rather than just one battery pack, as is the case with previous iPhones.

Analysts from Yuanta Investment and Fubon Securities expect the iPhone 8 to ship in November or late October. On the other hand, an unnamed supply chain source says there’s still time for Apple and its suppliers to ensure that components are ready for earlier production and ship dates.

A memory chip industry executive also supposedly said that iPhone 8 orders are coming in and they’re more aggressive than in the previous two years, but not as high as in 2014 when Apple launched the record-setting iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.