For months there have been reports of production problems with the new iPhone. These are expected to result in severely constrained supply when the device becomes available next week. In an effort to speed up production, Apple has purportedly eased its requirements to make the device easier to manufacture.
As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc. wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays. The challenge was how to make the sophisticated phone—with advanced features such as facial recognition—in large enough numbers.
Apple is famously demanding, leaning on suppliers and contract manufacturers to help it make technological leaps and retain a competitive edge. While a less accurate Face ID will still be far better than the existing Touch ID, the company's decision to downgrade the technology for this model shows how hard it’s becoming to create cutting-edge features that consumers are hungry to try. And while Apple has endured delays and supply constraints in the past, those typically have been restricted to certain iPhone colors or less important offerings such as the Apple Watch. This time the production hurdles affected a 10th-anniversary phone expected to generate much of the company’s revenue.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that only 2-3 million iPhone X units will be available on launch day and 25-30 million units available in the holiday quarter. This is down from previous estimates of 40 million.
When recently questioned about iPhone X supply, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "We'll see what happens but we'll be working as hard as possible to make as many as possible". [Video]
Apple has just updated its homepage to highlight features of the new iPhone X ahead of its launch. Pre-orders for the iPhone X go live October 27th at 12:01am PDT and the device will be available in stores on November 3rd.
Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS to be notified when pre-orders are live.