Apple is already one big step if not several behind Samsung in terms of mobile display technology, performance and bezel evolution, so it almost goes without saying it needs that game-changing iPhone 8 to launch ASAP. Even at $900 or $1,000.
But we know better than to expect a next-gen iPhone announcement before September. The thing is, even if various component production predicaments are solved by then, a limited initial release or general delay might be inevitable.
According to a fresh Chinese-language Economic Daily News report cited by hit-and-miss Taiwanese publication Digitimes today, “technical issues related to the lamination process of curved OLED panels”, as well as the adoption of a “3D sensing system” are currently the biggest thorns in Apple’s side.
Of course, the Cupertino-based tech giant typically collaborates with more than one supplier for nearly every new iPhone part precisely to avoid yield problems and mass-manufacturing setbacks. Key partners this year include TSMC, Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, ASE, Largan, Cyntec and Yageo, not to mention Samsung, and we should hear more of a possible timetable around June.
Right now, it’s probably not wise to rule out an October or even November commercial rollout for the top-shelf iPhone 8, aka X, aka Edition or Pro, what with its “gently” curved display, function area, AR capabilities, wireless charging support and face scanner possibly requiring extra development, production and assembly time.