iPhone X supply won’t balance with demand until next year


iPhone X
That's nowhere near enough to meet early demand.
Photo: Apple

Getting your fingers all over the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge super Retina display won’t be easy during 2017.

According to one of the most accurate Apple analysts in the game, the new tech inside the iPhone X will cause the supply of units to be severely constrained. Even though the new device doesn’t go on sale until November, Apple’s going to be facing production shortages for quite some time.

In his latest note to investors, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo says the iPhone X will be in tight supply during the Christmas shopping season. And it will be hard to find in stock until the first quarter of 2018.

iPhone X supply constraints

“We believe the fullscreen design and facial recognition features will drive replacement demand for the iPhone X. However, due to supply constraints, we expect market demand won’t be fully met before 1H18,” said Kuo in his note obtained by MacRumors. “We revise down our forecast for 2017F iPhone X shipments from 45-50 million to around 40 million units, but we therefore revise up our 2018 iPhone X shipment estimate to 80-90 million units.”

Apple unveiled the iPhone X during a keynote this week at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park. Along with its impressive display, it packs 3D facial scanning technology and more advanced camera features than the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Kuo told investors that part of the reason why the iPhone X pre-orders won’t be available until October 27 is so that it doesn’t cannibalize sales of the other two new iPhones Apple introduced. After going on sale this morning, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is still surprisingly easy to get ahold of.

In our recent poll of potential iPhone buyers, over 50% of respondents said they were planning to buy the iPhone X. Only 14% were looking to buy the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which may not bode well for Apple’s sales numbers this quarter.