Apple doesn’t typically like to leave more than a week between a hot new product’s announcement and actual launch date, so it was enough to see the company’s hottest iPhone in ages officially slated for an October 27 pre-order start way back on September 11 to understand its widely rumored production troubles were real and serious.
But things got more and more real, as well as dead serious, in the weeks following last month’s attention-grabbing iPhone X introduction alongside the significantly less eye-catching 8 and 8 Plus.
It’s no big secret that the super-advanced Face ID technology makes a manufacturing ramp-up still feel like a distant dream, with key Apple partners like TSMC and Foxconn forced to settle for lower-than-expected revenues as they wait for TrueDepth camera system producers to iron out remaining kinks.
The problem is not that facial recognition can’t be achieved, it’s that yields are so low supply may not be able to catch up with demand until next year. A fresh report from China pours gasoline on a seemingly unstoppable fire of delay rumors, claiming Foxconn has finally begun shipping fully assembled, fully working iPhone X devices.
Good news? Not exactly, as the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer was purportedly only able to ship 46,500 units to the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates as part of a limited first batch.
Even assuming Foxconn can put together around 400,000 units every week from now on, as other sources suggested, we may still be looking at no more than a million of these bad boys ready to head out to early (and lucky) adopters on November 3. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are far from selling like hotcakes.