Apple will have half the planned amount of iPhone X models in stock this year: report

With iPhone X pre-orders just three days away, Apple may be bracing for its biggest iPhone shortage in its history.

A steady stream of reports pointed to Apple having issues in its iPhone supply chain, expecting a major shortage in how many iPhone X models will be available this year. Japan-based media outlet Nikkei reported on Tuesday that Apple has settled on around 20 million units for the highly anticipated iPhone X, half the planned amount for 2017.

Nikkei’s figure is at least 5 million units short of what Ming-Chi Kuo, a reputable Apple analyst who reliably predicted iPhone supplies in the past, expected for 2017. Kuo wrote last week that he expected at most 3 million iPhone X units to ready by the public release date on Nov. 3.

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In context, Apple sold 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus units over its launch weekend in 2015.

Apple said in a press release Tuesday that iPhone X will be in stock in all Apple stores worldwide on Nov. 3.

“Stores will have iPhone X available for walk-in customers, who are encouraged to arrive early,” wrote Apple.

Nikkei and Kuo believe that Apple’s supply shortage will be a short-term hiccup rather than a long-term blow. Nikkei reports that the iPhone X is being manufactured at a pace for 10 million units per month, and Kuo believes the production pace will pick up significantly in November after Apple squares away some of its major component issues.

Both point to various parts of the deluxe iPhone as reasons for the supply slowdown. According to Kuo, “the biggest hurdle” for the iPhone X has been the flexible printed circuit board for the antenna system, which has been upgraded from past iPhones.

Nikkei pointed to components supporting the new FaceID facial recognition feature, according to Nikkei. With the introduction of FaceID, Apple added new cameras and sensors to the front of the phone, replacing what used to be a simple 7-megapixel camera.

At the start of the iPhone X mass manufacturing timeline, Apple suppliers faced troubles with its new OLED displays — which emit brighter resolutions for less battery consumption — during its bonding process. The issue was solved in July.

Manufacturers were only able to boost the number of good iPhone X units by the end of September, according to Nikkei.

Apple’s shares saw no signs of a shake-up from the Nikkei report. As of midday, Apple’s shares rose less than 1 percent.

Photo: Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPhone X at Apple’s special event in Cupertino on Sept. 12, 2017. (Courtesy Apple)


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  • Roxy Balboa

    Looks like you need a real job