As the iPhone 8's highly-expected September launch is approaching, a number of reports so far have suggested that the handset could be delayed due to production issues. A new report from Digitimes on Tuesday talked about something along those lines – limited initial shipments of the iPhone 8 due to OLED panel supply constraints.
The report cited "industry sources," who said that shipments of the new iPhones could be interrupted due to limited supply of OLED panels and yield rates at assembly plants. Although Samsung, the sole manufacturer of the OLED panels for the iPhone 8, has reportedly promised to support Apple, the production of the upcoming 5.8-inch iPhone still seems to be heavily constrained.
The source told DigiTimes that Apple was expected to ready only about 4 million OLED iPhone 8 units for shipment before the unveiling of the new flagship handset sometime in September.
"Judging from the current supply of OLED panels, it will be difficult for Apple to ship up to 50-60 million OLED-based new iPhones in 2017," the report cited the industry sources as saying.
The latest speculation about iPhone 8 supply shortages comes at a time when chipset suppliers have reportedly begun supplying components in the second quarter of this year. Meanwhile, Apple's assembly partners like Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron are also hiring more workers at their facilities in China to ramp up iPhone 8 production.
In addition, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) also began shipping A11 processors in May for the next-generation iPhone 8.
Tuesday's report, however, didn't mention anything about the production on the new iPhone 7s models with LCD screens. Apart from the iPhone 8, Apple is also expected to launch iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus that are likely to be modest upgrades over the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Rumours are rife that the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will sport a completely overhauled bezel-less design like the Samsung Galaxy S8. The edge-to-edge display on the iPhone 8 is also expected to feature an embedded TouchID fingerprint sensor.
The phone is also likely to come with other new features like Augmented reality, rear dual cameras, wireless charging, improved NFC beyond Apple Pay and an improved Siri.