Rumours that one of the most anticipated devices of the year, the iPhone 8, may well become one of the most anticipated devices of next year may have been slightly exaggerated - but not by much.
As far back as May a note from Deutsche Bank warned that technical challenges and a shortage of key components could push the launch back until 2018, but most commentators were still expecting it to roll out in September. Now, however, a report from Economic Daily News is suggesting delays until November or December, and a more optimistic forecast from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty put the launch in October. Volume production for the new iPhone is said to have already commenced, but Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron's yield rates have yet to reach mass production levels. This means that whenever the launch happens, the device will initially only be available in small quantities.
The release of the iPhone 8 is expected to create what is known as a “super cycle”, with many customers already about to upgrade their phones who will wait for the launch of the latest model. As a result, claims Guggenheim's Robert Cihra, Apple's fortunes and stock should not be harmed by the delay, with the bulk of its sales merely transferred to the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 rather than lost to competitors. Although the iPhone 8 will be substantially more expensive than previous models, Cihra doesn't believe the customer base will see this price rise as significant enough to put them off.
Also rumoured is that one of the reasons for the delays has been teething problems with attempts to incorporate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor into the edge-to-edge OLED display featured by some of the devices, and that Apple may instead have opted for facial recognition technology using its new 3D camera sensors.
There are reported to be three variations set to be announced for the new iPhone- 4.7 and 5.5 inch LED models, and the aforementioned 5.8 inch edge-to-edge OLED edition. Whatever happens, it looks like the iPhone 8 will be one of the most sought-after gifts this Christmas, and next year's must-have gadget.
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