Apple has a history of being secretive about their products until they are launched. However, that does not stop leakers from revealing some details about them.
Followers of the mobile phone industry expect the company to release their flagship phones in September, as they do every year. But recent details have emerged indicating that the launch of the upcoming iPhone 8 could be delayed by a few months due to one of its new features.
The iPhone 8’s Touch ID sensor will supposedly be embedded into its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. This means that you could unlock your phone just by touching its screen. However, it has been reported that Apple has been having issues with this new feature.
— BGR.com (@BGR) June 21, 2017
Timothy Arcuri, an analyst at the investment firm Cowen and Co.'s writes in a newly published research note that significant technical challenges remain. He claims that the shipment of the OLED model could be delayed. This delay could take from one to two months, as the company actively tries to come up with a workable solution for its sensor.
Arcuri highlights in his research the three strategies Apple is choosing from on how to implement an embedded Touch ID:
"1) thinning the cover glass for the fingerprint area (cover glass cutout), 2) creating a pin hole through the glass for optical or ultrasonic fingerprint sensing, and 3) replacing the AuthenTec Touch ID with a "film" fingerprint sensor that is integrated with the display."
He goes on to say that the model has an “edge-to-edge bezel-free design with no physical home button.” These predictions involve the fingerprint sensor being located on the front of the phone, which contradicts other rumors based on alleged factory renders.
“While the exact implementation is not finalized, we can now say that the fingerprint sensor is unlikely to be on the back of the phone,” said Arcuri.
It is unclear if the technical challenges Apple are facing is based solely on production output or the functionality of the Touch ID sensor itself. There were some earlier rumors claiming that Apple was experiencing extremely poor yields on some early designs for the iPhone 7’s successor.
According to CNET, Cowen and Co. has a mixed track record of predicting Apple products. However, this isn’t the first time that the delay has been reported. Last month, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted that Apple may not get a handle on the production of the iPhone 8 until September, adding that “severe supply shortages may persist for a while after the new models are launched.”
Arcuri predicts that the iPhone 8 delays could stretch out over many months. Even if the new model could be unveiled and launched in September or October, it could take Apple several weeks to increase the supply to meet what is expected to be a staggering demand.
Tech analysts speculate that Apple could stock up to 90 million iPhones in the holiday quarter as opposed to the upcoming September quarter to make up for the delay. With their previous record sales for the iPhone 7, Apple could break a new sales record despite the delay.