iPhone X supply has no hope of meeting demand


iphone 8 UI
Good luck getting your hands on one of these.
Photo: Ben Miller

iPhone X might be insanely expensive, but that won’t prevent it from becoming the best-selling Apple smartphone to date. What might scupper sales is incredibly short supply.

According to one reliable analyst, iPhone X production, as it currently stands, has no hope of keeping up with early demand.

Apple products are rarely affordable, but fans will find the money to buy them in their millions. Despite its $1,000 price tag, iPhone X is expected to kickstart an upgrade “super-cycle” that will revitalize sales for years to come.

But trusted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has identified a problem that could prevent that. According to his sources, Apple’s partners can only manufacture 10,000 units a day, and the device is expected to “remain in sever short supply for a while.”

There are several reasons for this. Not only are the new technologies found in iPhone X — like its edge-to-edge OLED display — more difficult to manufacture, but new color options like “blush gold” are said to be presenting their own production problems.

Kuo “said that the gold iPhone X will be in extremely low volume at launch, and could even go on sale at a date later than the other models, expected to be offered in black and white options,” reports AppleInsider, which obtained a copy of the note to investors.

In the long-run, this won’t have a huge impact on Apple stock or sales. The company is expected to shift the same amount of devices; it will just take longer. But it means that many of those who are hoping to get their hands on iPhone X are in for a lengthy wait.

Another challenge the company faces is convincing customers that Face ID, its new facial recognition technology, is good enough to replace the beloved Touch ID. iPhone X is expected to ditch fingerprint scanning altogether.

“Apple has to win over consumers by demoing a smooth-running, easy-to-use and secure feature,” Kuo said. “If market opinions are mixed after the media event, then we’ll have to wait until shipments begin to see if consumers like what the OLED iPhone has to offer.”

It’s still not clear if iPhone X will launch on the same day as iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which is expected to be September 22. It’s possible that it will be available in limited quantities, but Apple could push back its launch to avoid too much disappointment.

We’ll know more tomorrow when the company makes its new devices official at a special event from the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park. The keynote kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific, and we’ll be live-blogging the whole thing right here on Cult of Mac.