WSJ: Touch ID also damned the iPhone 8 with delays

Samsung Display only started gross production on OLED displays for the iPhone 8 within the last month or so when it really should’ve started way earlier. We’re learning that the reason for the resulting delays and the further delays to result may go all the way back to the one feature Apple was itching to have, but likely will not end up getting for what may end up being called the iPhone Edition or iPhone X.

The iPhone 8 has been depicted as a drastic change in aesthetics for Apple’s smartphone series. Several high street banks are estimating starting prices around $1,000.

The Wall Street Journal reports from its sources that Apple had continued to test fingerprint sensing technology that would work under the OLED display. The optical scanner would provide users the familiar Touch ID security suite. Tests consistently failed to yield acceptable results and Touch ID would be abandoned in favor of a facial recognition system. Software engineers at Infinite Loop were found to be in a scramble with the schedule squeeze and there is a potential that certain features of the new system may need to be updated in a firmware update post-release.

Furthermore, Samsung’s affiliate OLED producer in Vietnam had to adapt to a display stack that differed from the ones Samsung Electronics used in its phones that required more materials and more processing, thus incorporating more risk and a generally lower yield rate per lot. The rumor mill claims that there was also some time wasted on getting the touch panel to work around corner curve points to fit against the curved glass fascia — the display will lie flat.

KGI Secutiries recently quoted a per-panel average price of $125 versus a typical $50 for LCDs.

As the crunch to produce not only the iPhone 8 but iterations of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus comes close, contract device assembler Foxconn is reportedly giving out referral bonuses to existing employees for bringing new ones on board.

The devices are expected to debut at an event on September 12. Pre-orders could begin on September 15 and shipments would begin one week later. Initial stage supply constraints are typical and can last for up to four weeks. But if the backlog for the iPhone 8 continues to grow throughout the holiday shopping season, some market analysts will have plenty of crow to eat: top end estimates say Apple will ship 5 million new iPhone units during the remaining days of September, before the company enters into a new fiscal year.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.