iPhone X production should slowly ramp up starting November, Face ID no longer a big problem
After weeks, nay, months of bleak reports regarding iPhone X production and gloomy predictions for initial supply, sometimes stretching throughout the holiday season and into the early stages of next year, the worst may finally be behind Apple.
We’re not paraphrasing, mind you, as that’s exactly what KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in his latest research note on the hotly contested topic, according to MacRumors – “the worst will soon be over”, and “the worst is behind us.”
Like many other industry pundits and insiders, Kuo has changed his mind and slightly altered his projections repeatedly of late, which is natural given the volatility of the mass-manufacturing situation.
Previously, it was widely believed that the complex Face ID technology made a proper November 3 launch virtually impossible. But while the TrueDepth Camera system’s infrared dot projector remains a fickle and delicate component to produce, Kuo claims there are actually two things slowing down distribution even more.
Number one, the flexible printed circuit board for the iPhone X antenna, which should have come largely from Japan-based Murata. But the primary supplier couldn’t meet Apple’s requirements, which are reportedly way tougher than those for iPhone 8 parts, so now secondary supplier Career Tech has to significantly ramp up production.
That’s only going to happen in November, and the other major bottleneck, involving wide angle camera circuit boards, will also need a little time to be ironed out.
Still, the good news is Face ID issues have been mostly resolved, based on this fresh inside information. Unfortunately, it’s too late to get more than 2 or 3 million iPhone X units ready for delivery early next month. Hence, a maximum of 30 million “all-screen” devices are now expected to ship by the end of the year, down from a previous optimistic forecast of 35 mil.
Things should pick up quickly in 2018 (if no other shortages enter the equation), with quarterly iPhone X shipments likely to increase by as much as 50 percent between January and March compared to this troubled period we’re living.