The new iPhone 8 could be about to enter the mass production phase, according to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Indeed, in a research note obtained by AppleInsider, the KGI Securities analyst, who has a strong track record in this area, suggested mass production will follow the product verification test phase, which will occur later this month.
Such news will come as a relief to those eagerly awaiting the release of the new handset from Apple, after recent rumours has suggested the device’s release had been delayed ‘significantly’. Kuo, however, believes it will have a joint launch alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus; both of which are already in mass production.
Assuming Apple follow a similar strategy to previous years, it seems likely that all three phones will be officially announced in early to mid September, with pre-orders and general release following soon after. This contrasts with previous reports suggesting the iPhone 8 could be delayed until November due to supply chain issues.
One of the most interesting things revealed by Kuo about the iPhone 8 itself is the fact that it will only be available in three colours: black, silver and gold. That represents a reduction from the number of colour choices available in previous years and Kuo believes those same three colours will be the options for the iPhone 7s as well.
In addition to widely expected features, such as wireless charging, the new iPhone 8, which some are choosing to refer to as the iPhone Pro instead, is likely to have an edge-to-edge OLED display, allowing for an improved resolution of 2,436 x 1,125 pixels, as well as new face recognition capabilities.
With that being said, Kuo also revealed that the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will support fast charging – most likely through the Lightning-to-USB-C cable and wall adapter utilised by Apple’s iPad Pro devices.
The iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus are likely to resemble the main iPhone 7 device and utilise a similar LCD screen. As with the iPhone 8, both of these models are expected to support wireless charging, while a lower price point will ensure they serve as superior entry level or budget-friendly choices.
Although the news that the iPhone 8 will not face the previously rumoured delays will be music to the ears of many Apple aficionados, it may not necessarily mean they are able to get their hands on the new model at the time of launch, as production numbers are expected to be relatively low in the early stages.
Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will produce somewhere in the region of 2-4 million iPad 8 handsets in this quarter of 2017. This is likely to result in a scramble to become one of the lucky ones to get their hands on the device on the day of release, or even in the first month or so afterwards.
The outlook is slightly better for those who hope to get hold of the new iPhone 8 before the end of the Christmas season. By that time, Kuo believes Apple will have produced somewhere in the region of 50 million units. To put that figure into perspective, the company sold around 75 million iPhones in total during Q4 2016.
With the simultaneous release of the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, both of which will likely attract plenty of attention of their own, the production of 50 million units before the end of the holiday period should be sufficient to cope with the bulk of demand for the new model, unless it significantly outperforms expectations.
Nevertheless, the combination of advanced new technology, such as the facial recognition capabilities and improved screen, and the relatively low production numbers in Q3 has led to significant speculation about the price of the new device. Some unconfirmed sources have suggested it could retail for as much as $1,000 USD.
Yet, regardless of the price, the important news is that Apple fans can seemingly breathe a sigh of relief, as rumours of a delay on the new model appear to be unfounded. The iPhone 8 should get its official launch alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus in September 2017, in-keeping with the company’s usual launch timetable.