iPhone X production woes fading as 2-3M units set for launch

iPhone X production woes fading as 2-3M units set for launch

Various components for the upcoming iPhone X will soon come into enough supply to significantly ease Apple’s production worries for the much-anticipated handset, reports KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Nonetheless, there will still be only 2-3 million units available for launch day.

The most constrained component is currently said to be the antenna FPCB, which requires “special materials, recipes, design, processes, equipments and tests” not applicable for the iPhone 8, Kuo reports. However, Murata and Career Tech are the only suppliers capable of meeting these needs.

“Murata (originally with a 60% order allocation or higher) won’t be able to resolve its issues before 2Q18,” Kuo continues in a note for investors and quoted from by AppleInsider, “and thus has been fully replaced by second supplier Career”. Production there will ramp up in November.

The second most constrained component is reportedly the FPCB of the wide-angle camera’s module. The iPhone X uses two separate PCBs, unlike rival dual-camera smartphones. However, Interflex is said to be struggling to manufacture the wide-angle FPCB to a sufficient quality.

The X’s TrueDepth camera – or, more specifically, its 3D dot connector – is another sore point in the supply chain, though apparently not for much longer. Kuo says: “We believe the previous design issues of the dot projector sometimes being unable to recognize human faces has been resolved after active alignments or environmental tests were addressed”.

The iPhone X’s preorder period will start on October 27 before the retail launch on November 3 – and Kuo expects shipments to rise by 50% sequentially during 2018’s first quarter, after production difficulties are relieved.

Craig Lenaghan
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