Apple's upcoming high-end iPhone, rumored to be called Edition, but which goes by a number of names, may face severe shortages before the end of the year. Production may only ramp up well into the holiday season, and heavy competition could further delay Apple’s plans.
All of this is the informed opinion of noted KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record on Apple products and rumors. According to him, though the iPhone - called the OLED iPhone, thanks to its screen tech - will likely still be announced around the regular August-September timeframe. That said, unit availability will only ramp up towards November, or even in early 2018. We’ve heard similar rumors before, and a recent report corroborates this timeline. Kuo said:
Production ramp up of OLED iPhone could be delayed to October-November (previously estimated to be August-September, as in previous years). That said, if new features, such as 3D sensing, can provide good user experience, a temporary supply shortfall won’t undermine actual demand, which may be deferred to 1H18
This is blamed on severe shortages in the supply chain, partially based on the radical redesign and special hardware the handset is rumored to have. Among these are the noted OLED screen which will occupy almost the entire front of the device, a new type of dual-cameras, and even some type of 3D technology.
The other two iPhones, which Apple is expected to launch alongside the higher-end, may also face delays according to the analyst. This comes as the LCD panels traditionally used by Apple are in shorter supply due to heavy competition from a large number of device manufacturers.
However, all of these shortages may not affect demand, if Apple manages to fulfill users’ expectations with its new models. While that remains to be seen in the fall, its developers’ conference is taking place early this summer, so we’ll get our first look at some new software and hints at new products in the near future.