There may have been only two people in “line” for the iPhone 8 in the world’s single largest market for mobile devices back on September 22, but the “dynamic-changing” iPhone X is obviously bound to generate significantly more interest worldwide starting November 3.

We already know a great deal of iFans seeking a hardware upgrade have chosen to play the waiting game and risk not being able to get their hands on a fancy “all-screen” new iPhone for weeks or even months to come rather than settling for another iterative model.

There are only three days to go until pre-orders will be open at 12:01 a.m. PDT on apple.com and the Apple Store app. The question is should you pull the trigger online this Friday, or camp out in front of your local physical Apple Store ahead of next Friday’s actual launch?

Either way, your chances of scoring the iPhone X reasonably early are probably slim, given current predictions from various analysts and supply chain sources circle 2 or 3 million units in initial inventory.

For its part, Cupertino encourages “walk-in customers” to “arrive early” at official retail locations on November 3, which confirms the iPhone X will be a rare sight. So rare in fact that a modest 20 million units or so could ship between early next month and the end of the year.

That’s according to new Nikkei projections, and it’s only half of what Apple previously expected to be able to distribute to eager customers. 20 mil is also a more pessimistic scenario than the latest KGI forecast, which was itself downgraded from 35 to a maximum of 30 million, and “technical issues with components supporting the new face authentication feature” are blamed yet again.

On the bright side, “there is a chance that output volumes could improve rapidly” now that Face ID yield rates are way up, possibly bringing the iPhone X supply and demand problem to an end before Q1 2018 wraps up.

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