It’s sounding more and more like the iPhone 8 is going to be delayed — and the big question is by how long.
On Sunday, analysts from Deutsche Bank put out a research note that suggested the eagerly anticipated device might not be released in 2017, based on a report from ValueWalk.
“Report suggests no new iPhone 8 this calendar year,” the bank’s analysts wrote. “As we have written in previous [research notes], several supply chain reports have suggested that key component shortages and technical challenges could delay the release of a high-end iPhone 8 device this fall. We believe this report further underscores the uncertainty around the timing of Apple’s next- generation iPhone model.”
Published last week, the ValueWalk story cites unnamed supply chain sources “close to [Apple manufacturer] Foxconn” to report that Apple won’t be releasing the iPhone 8 this year, based on an apparent lack of orders for packaging materials. The iPhone 7s, an incremental improvement on the iPhone 7 launched in 2016, will arrive on schedule in Autumn 2017, it said.
It’s not clear how accurate this report is. ValueWalk isn’t known for breaking major Apple news, and a delay on this magnitude would be a huge deal for Apple. (Don’t expect Apple to comment, however. It almost never discusses rumours and unannounced products ahead of time.)
But we have heard previous reports from more reliable sources, including KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that the iPhone 8 may face delays of some kind. The analyst has said he expects the iPhone 8 to be announced alongside the 7s and 7s Plus — but it might be up to several months until it’s ready and in the hands of customers, due to “increased production difficulty.”
The iPhone 8 is expected to feature significant changes, including an almost edge-to-edge screen, no physical home button, a revamped camera, and some augmented reality functionality. Along with the 7s, it is expected to take advantage of an upgrade “super cycle” — huge numbers of Apple customers with old devices in need of an upgrade, likely leading to record sales.
As such, the idea that the iPhone 8 doesn’t land until 2018 seems extreme, and unlikely. But it’s indicative of the uncertainty currently surrounding the device’s launch that Deutsche Bank is willing to promote this possibility to investors.