Here is the classic good-bad news combo that is doing the rounds pertaining to the iPhone 8. To start with the positive bit first, the anniversary iPhone edition is expected to arrive well on time, which means a September roll out looks imminent. Unfortunately, the device could suffer from severe supply crunch, at least during the initial stages.
Such a development is least desirable given that it will no doubt adversely impact sales as well. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, while propagating the above line of thought also stated Apple might, however, go on to launch the regular iPhone 7S on schedule.
In fact, it is this that could make matters all the more tricky for Apple. An iPhone 8 will no doubt be the most sought after provided it manages to offer all or most of what is being made out of it right now. But if there aren’t enough on offer, buyers might be lured into buying handsets from companies like Samsung, Huawei, Vivo or Oppo. All of these manufacturers are tipped to launch their own versions of a full-screen smartphone during the same time.
With those many full-screen handsets on offer, demand for the regular iPhone devices is likely to be less if not outright dismal. According to Kuo, a 15 to 20 percent drop in sales of the iPhone cannot be ruled out this year, which means 80 to 90 million units shipped.
With the several hardware upgrades planned for the iPhone 8, those again make for manufacturing challenges. Apart from a front OLED display, the anniversary iPhone version is tipped to feature a 3D camera, a new 3D touch feature, new 10-nanometer A11 processor and so on.
As for the supply crunch, much of it could owe it to the delay in production ramp up to Oct-Nov. With previous iPhone models, that happened during Aug-Sept ensuring there were enough units available once the initial lots sold off.
That, if true, will also mean supply to be a bit strained during the holiday season as well, another less desirable prospect for Apple. Under the circumstances, demand for the new iPhone 8 could peak only around the first half of 2018. That said, Kuo also believes the device could still sell in record numbers if it lives up to the hype.