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The iPhone X will be impossible to find at launch

Published Sep 11th, 2017 12:19PM EDT

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We know most every detail about the iPhone X at this point, thanks to a giant bombshell leak that came from Apple itself. Now that we know about the phone, there’s only a couple questions left: What’s the release date, how much will it cost, and where can you get one?

Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected analyst with good supply-chain sources, has bad news for anyone hankering to get an early iPhone X. According to a new note sent to investors early Monday, the iPhone X “will remain in severe short supply for awhile” after launch, with production limited to 10,000 units per day initially.

Kuo cites “general production issues” as well as a specific problem with a new blush gold shade that Apple is expected to introduce. Just as the Jet Black iPhone 7 took months to actually get in stock, don’t expect to see the Blush Gold iPhone X in stores near you. Kuo suggests that delays could lead to the blush gold version going on sale at a later date altogether.

What do those numbers mean for your chances of getting an iPhone X at launch? Well, opening weekend sales of a new iPhone have topped 10 million for the last three generations. Let’s say that the number is about the same for the iPhone X — demand will be high, but so will the price. Even pre-orders topped 5 million for the iPhone 7 in the first 24 hours.

If the iPhone X has an initial production capacity of 10,000 units per day, and Apple has been producing for 120 days (a generous estimate), that only puts the initial stock of iPhone X units at a little over a million. I’d guess that you’ll have to pre-order within an hour of pre-orders going live to have any chance of receiving a phone on launch day.

Luckily for Apple, Kuo doesn’t reckon the slow start to sales will have any impact on the stock price, or the eventual number of iPhone X units sold. Production will ramp up exponentially after initial difficulties, and the iPhone X should generally available by the all-important holiday season.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.