Tucked in the latest Nikkei supply chain report that Apple has ordered parts for 80 million new iPhone to suppliers for this fall season, is another
confirmation that the three iPhones
we are expecting may not all be released in September.
The 80 million number is interesting since it is 20% less than the 100 million total units of iPhone 8
, Plus and X that Apple reportedly ordered last year, but this might just be an overabundance of caution at Cupertino, given the rumored cut in the iPhone X orders
for the last two quarters. The more intriguing part of the report, however, lies in the following insider statement:
The scheduled time frame for components for the OLED models to go into iPhone assemblers like Foxconn and Pegatron for final assembly falls in July, while the schedule for components for the LCD model would be in August. Two OLED models are likely to be ready roughly one month earlier than the cost-effective LCD model, according to the current plan.
That's not the first time we are hearing that the LCD iPhone 9
will be launched after the iPhone Xs
and Xs Plus
, or whatever these get called. The culprit was pegged as light bleeding
from the LCD display around the notch, yet the supply chain sources in this latest report say there is another bottleneck - the faux 3D Touch layer
that the LCD display will reportedly have to mimic the real thing that will only be incorporated on the more expensive OLED iPhones.
The iOS 12 beta includes an intriguing new way
to use Apple's keyboard area as a trackpad by long-pressing the spacebar on iPhones without 3D Touch, so there might be some merits to the rumor that Apple will approach the 3D Touch paradigm from another angle with the final release, which might not actually require the respective hardware implementation.
"The production yield for the LCD model's 'touch' function is not satisfactory at the moment, but it is improving," tipped one of the sources, though, so the delay between the two releases may not be a whole month, after all, and we should hear more on the matter as the time nears.