Just 3 million iPhone X units will be ready for launch

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

There are going to be a lot of unhappy Apple fans come November 3. Yet another report from a reliable analyst has reiterated that production issues are affecting early iPhone X supply. Apple will have just 3 million units available at launch.

Yes, you’ve heard it all before. Certain iPhone X components are being delayed by early manufacturing issues. This is holding up the entire production process, meaning Apple simply cannot make its latest smartphone fast enough.

We’ve been warned countless times that iPhone X supplies will be limited at launch. We just didn’t know how limited. Now reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that Apple will have just 2-3 million units available.

TrueDepth isn’t the only problem

Recent reports have blamed the delay on the handset’s new TrueDepth camera. But Kuo says there are other components in even shorter supply, including the infrared dot projector that is also required for Face ID.

A printed circuit board required for iPhone X’s antenna system is the “biggest hurdle,” he adds.

“Special materials, recipes, design, processes, equipments and tests are required for antenna FPCB,” reads the note obtained by AppleInsider. Only two suppliers can meet the requirements, and one of those has been dropped due to manufacturing issues.

Problems will ease next month

It won’t always be like this. iPhone X will be incredibly difficult to obtain initially, but production will ramp up in November, Kuo says. This should mean there are more units to go around towards the end of the year and in early 2018.

Kuo has cut his fourth quarter shipping estimates for iPhone X to 25 to 30 million units, down from 30 to 35 million. He expects shipments to grow rapidly in the first quarter of 2018, however, up 50 percent on a sequential basis.