The latest report from KGI securities repeats production problems about the iPhone X again, indicating that only about 2-3 million units will be shipped for sale before the launch on Nov 3rd.
KGI relates the issue with supply shortages for numerous components including circuit boards for the iPhone X antenna and wide angle camera, and the depth-sensing Infrared dot projector.
We have come across various publications suggest that the company suppliers are encountering issues increasing the level of production of the iPhone X. In many regards, the device features radically redesigned components which have not been mass-produced at the scale previously, so lower initial yields are somewhat to be expected.
Multiple reports in the past have suggested that the 3D sensor production is the main reason behind; today’s KGI report states the dot projector but says there are a few other components in even shorter supply.
Ming-Chi Kuo says the ‘biggest hurdle’ for iPhone X shipments is actually the flexible printed circuit board for the antenna system. He says special materials, processes and stringent tests are required for the company to sign off on produced iPhone X antenna components, with much higher specifications than iPhone 8 or other models.
One supplier, Murata, was all ready to provide antenna PCB but failed to meet the company’s requirements. Now, another supplier will be manufacturing the component for the first few months.
The wide-angle camera circuit board is considered the next biggest hurdle in the report. KGI says that Apple’s camera system for iPhone X uses separate PCBs for the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, which is not similar ones from Samsung phones.
As far as the dot projector is concerned, KGI says previous problems regarding the detection of human faces in certain conditions have now been resolved and shipments are all set to increase significantly.
As per the historical record, the company usually sells more than ten million phones in opening weekend sales alone, availability of just 2-3 million units for the launch doesn’t seem to cater customer demand for iPhone X.
Well, the good news is that KGI believes production of the circuit boards and dot projector will likely ramp up significantly across November which should allow Apple to increase iPhone X output quickly after the release.
That being said, KGI has dropped estimates for initial fourth quarter shipments from 30-35 million to 25-30 million units. In the first quarter of 2018, though, KGI believes shipments could increase by as much as 50%.