Is the world’s largest, most profitable tech company headed for record-breaking iPhone sales numbers this year following an underwhelming (by Apple standards) 2016? Not so fast, ardent iFans and optimistic Morgan Stanley analysts, as the most famous (and infamous) Apple tipster lends further credence to rampant speculation of production difficulties, supply shortages and commercial delays.
KGI Securities pundit Ming-Chi Kuo of course talks in uncertain terms about a game-changing next-gen iPhone with an OLED screen, 10nm-based Apple A11 SoC, redesigned 3D Touch module and 3D sensing cameras.
All these “significant hardware upgrades” could cause setbacks in the road to market of a device that may be called iPhone 8, Pro, Edition or even X, as in Cupertino’s tenth anniversary major release. Kuo believes several key “cutting-edge components” have been “custom-ordered” by Apple, with suppliers unlikely to be able to ramp up mass manufacturing on a “normal” September/October schedule.
Just like a growing number of other insiders, this typically reliable financial analyst predicts the iPhone 8, 7s and 7s Plus will together go official in September. But only the two “iterative” models might be ready for a wide-scale rollout later that month, with the radically enhanced OLED version extremely hard to come by “for a while.”
If that’s the case, and the iPhone 8 doesn’t fix its production issues by November, December or even January 2018, Kuo is probably right to lower its initial “new iPhone” shipment forecasts for this year from 110 to 80 or 90 million units.