Severe Supply Shortages Again Rumored for iPhone 8 Due to Production Difficulties

There have been several rumors suggesting the upcoming OLED "iPhone 8" could potentially be delayed due to production delays, and in a new note to investors sent out today, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reiterates his prediction that production ramp-up will be delayed.

According to Kuo, who titled his note "Rising probability of worst-case scenario for iPhone shipments," production ramp-up of the iPhone 8 could be delayed to "as late as October-November," a departure from Apple's traditional August to September ramp-up period.

The result will be "severe supply shortages" that persist for "a while" after the new iPhone models are introduced in September. To be clear, Kuo continues to believe Apple will introduce the iPhone in September, but he suggests there's a strong possibility the device will be hard to come by for several months following its release.

iphone 8 benjamin geskin

"iPhone 8" mockup with rear Touch ID sensor by Benjamin Geskin

Due to the possible iPhone 8 shortages, Kuo believes Apple may only ship 80 to 90 million iPhone units during the second half of 2017, down from 100 to 110 million units. Kuo does say it's not clear if demand will fully shift to the iPhone 8, due to questions about the usefulness of a rumored 3D sensor, the potential for Touch ID to be eliminated, and market competition.

While we are positive on potential replacement demand triggered by OLED iPhone, it's too early to determine if demand will shift fully in that direction. We recommend investors keep tabs on the following issues: (1) whether the 3D sensor of OLED iPhone provides an innovative user experience; (2) whether OLED iPhone cancels Touch ID (fingerprint recognition); and (3) whether Apple's competitors launch more innovative products which could compete with OLED iPhone in 4Q17-2Q18.

It is not unusual for us to hear rumors of production delays and supply shortages ahead of an iPhone release, and indeed, the iPhone 7 Plus was constrained for months after its launch, but the warnings about the iPhone 8 are popping up more frequently from trusted sources and are more dire than warnings we've seen for past iPhone release cycles.

Rumors have suggested that Apple is struggling with integrating the Touch ID fingerprint sensor underneath the glass of the iPhone 8, which has led to production difficulties. Due to these issues, rumors have also indicated that Apple could potentially put Touch ID on the back of the device or perhaps more unlikely, eliminate it entirely in favor of other biometric systems, like facial recognition. Kuo has not mentioned removing Touch ID entirely in previous research notes, but the wording of today's document seems to suggest he believes it's a possibility.

Apple is also said to be having trouble with the display lamination process and integrating a new 3D sensing front camera system into the device. Given the major design changes coming in the iPhone 8, including an edge-to-edge OLED display and a glass body, it is not surprising to hear that many of the new technologies involved are causing production problems.

Some rumors have suggested Apple could delay the debut of the iPhone 8 entirely, not introducing it in September, but most rumors believe the company will show it off at the event and perhaps launch it in small quantities.

Top Rated Comments

andy.ringwood Avatar
51 months ago
Apple, take your time, embed Touch ID under the screen and release it before Christmas and I'll be happy (as others would be as well, I'm sure).
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vertigo50 Avatar
51 months ago
Let me go ahead and give you a preview of the months between now and the release date for the next iPhone:

Rumors point to shortages

Rumors of shortages may have been wrong

Rumors point to shortages

Rumors of shortages may have been wrong

Rumors point to shortages

Rumors of shortages may have been wrong

Rumors point to shortages

Rumors of shortages may have been wrong

Rumors point to shortages

Rumors of shortages may have been wrong

Rumors point to shortages

Rumors of shortages may have been wrong

Release Date
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blacktape242 Avatar
51 months ago
every year this is rumored.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
prowlmedia Avatar
51 months ago
This literally is the Sponsored by Ming-Chi Kuo Website isn't it. I do wonder how much money KGI securities have made from this repetition of rumors as claims of inside knowledge?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applelover1016 Avatar
51 months ago
Tell us whether or not the device will have the fingerprint sensor in the display. That's pretty much all we care about at this point, we know it's going to be limited and hard to get, it always is. These reports are literally reiterating the same things over and over lol.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoEw Avatar
51 months ago
Hate to be that guy but how does a 800 billion dollar company with more capital than most countries have trouble ramping their bread and butter product?

Yes yes it's a big endavour to scale a device as popular as the iPhone but Apple has had a lot of time to work on this. The 7 was basically 6ss I thought because this phone was taking priority.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...