Apple is getting things ready for the production phase of this year’s iPhones and it seems like the situation isn’t as rosy as last year. It had ordered 100 million units of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in 2017, but it’s taking a more conservative approach this year.
Instead of 100 million, it’s reportedly asking its partners to manufacture 80 million units. That’s a 20% cut from last year. Supply chain sources told the Nikkei Asian Review that Apple is being more cautious this year.
Previous reports have alleged that Apple was disappointed by the iPhone X’s sales, even looking to burn off existing supply and discontinue the handset after the new trio arrives. It’s apparently hoping to turn things around this year by making the second-gen iPhone X cheaper.
Apple itself confessed that total iPhone shipments declined by 1% to 77.31 million in the October – December quarter. To be fair, worldwide smartphone shipments themselves waned by 0.3% to 1.46 billion in 2017. It’s the first time the industry has declined, as per IDC.
In that light, Apple might be cutting iPhone orders because of worldwide trends and not because it’s lost confidence in its goods. This year’s crop looks to be very different. Each is rumored to sport a full-screen notch design complete with Face ID.
2018 iPhone Production Problems
Face ID is supposedly complicating matters for Apple when it comes to the low-cost 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. Two sources claim that there are bottlenecks in integrating the 3D sending module onto the LCD screen for the first time. Even the touch function is reportedly not up to the mark right now.
Both issues are said to be improving though, so Apple might just pull off a September announcement and release for all three. The two OLED models are likely to go into production first in July to avoid last year’s delay debacle. They’ll be followed by the LCD iteration in August.
Samsung is probably supplying the displays for the OLED variants, while Japan Display and LG are apparently splitting orders for the LCD version. The latter might sport a bottom chin and slightly thicker borders since LCD doesn’t bend as well as OLED.