Excited Apple fans may have to wait longer than expected for the highly anticipated new iPhone, after suggestions the tech giant will miss its September deadline.
Noted Apple analysts have claimed the iPhone 8’s release date could be pushed back by up to two months, as developers continue to struggle to implement its new fingerprint sensor design.
And according to some experts, Apple is yet to decide on a design for its 10th-anniversary iPhone, as a November release looms.
Reputable Apple analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo stated this year’s iPhone could be two months behind schedule, thanks largely to several “significant hardware upgrades” with its new cutting-edge technology.
Mr Kuo highlighted the edge-to-edge OLED display and its troublesome Touch ID as Apple’s major issues, while its custom processing chip, its all-new designed 3D Touch module and 3D sensing cameras were also causing headaches.
Cowen & Co analyst Timothy Arcuri echoed the theory, saying Apple’s problem with embedding the Touch ID sensor into the iPhone 8 could result in significant delays.
In a newly published research note obtained by Barron’s, Mr Arcuri wrote there “still appears to be 1-2 months delay for the OLED model” on the next iPhone.
He said Apple had three separate strategies in place for the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor, which suggests the Cupertino-based company is further behind the mark than expected.
“This OLED model continues to target an edge-to-edge bezel-free design with no physical home button, with AAPL [Apple] currently deciding between three potential implementations,” he wrote.
“One, thinning the cover glass for the fingerprint area (cover glass cutout). Two, creating a pin hole through the glass for optical or ultrasonic fingerprint sensing, and three, replacing the AuthenTec Touch ID with a ‘film’ fingerprint sensor that is integrated with the display (this can be done through either capacitive sensors or infrared sensors based on technology from LuxVue which was acquired by AAPL in April 2016).
“While the exact implementation is not finalised, we can now say that the fingerprint sensor is unlikely to be on the back of the phone.”
It would be the first time Apple has missed the September window since the iPhone 5 release in 2012.
And as a result, the setback will significantly damage the company’s 2017 calendar sales, Mr Kuo said.
He predicted Apple would sell roughly 80-90 million phones in the back half of the year, compared to the 110 million he previously predicted.
The leaking of two inherently different prototype devices has also added to the confusion of Apple’s direction.
Conflicting leaks have swirled around for the past few months, with the position of the Touch ID the most notable difference.
Both leaked smartphones feature an edge-to-edge display with rounded corners, but one has opted for a glass back with the fingerprint sensor seemingly underneath the display, while the other features a metal frame with the Touch ID at the back of the device.
The rumours have not been verified by Apple, but Mr Kuo’s previous track record has elevated his predictions to the level of gospel.
In 2015, he accurately predicted a lengthy list of changes to the iPhone 6s, including a faster processor, a Force Touch screen, a 12-megapixel camera, better Touch ID and the new colour – Rose Gold.
Meanwhile in 2014, he forecast the shipping dates for the Apple Watch and its price. He also predicted the release of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the fourth-generation iPod Touch.
His success has earned him the title of “the most accurate Apple analyst in the world”.