Apple’s iPhone X will be in short supply when it launches in November, with only 2-3 million units shipping from factories before launch, the KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said.
The iPhone X, the most advanced and expensive iPhone at $999, goes up for pre-order on October 27 and hits stores on November 3 in 57 countries and territories.The last time Apple announced pre-order numbers for its most advanced phone, in 2014, it said it saw 4 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours so the iPhone X is going to be very hard to find at launch.
But Kuo, who is tapped into Apple’s Asian supply chain, says the worst production issues will be over soon. Still, KGI Securities cut its forecast for fourth quarter shipments even further, to 25-30 million units, down from 30-35 million units.
Kuo’s note, seen by People magazine, also goes into some detail about what’s causing the delays. We attribute it mainly to a shortage of three different components with the production of certain circuit boards being the biggest hurdle.
Experts believe one supplier of the iPhone X antenna circuit board, Murata, hasn’t been able to make the part to Apple’s specification, and has been largely replaced by a second supplier, Taiwan’s Career Tech.
For Apple fans who want the iPhone X as soon as it comes out, this is not good news — you’re either going to need to get lucky at pre-order time or line up at a retail store to secure an iPhone X first day. But for investors, this may simply push the “super cycle” boom of iPhone sales one quarter later.
For example, Canada’s largest wireless carrier said that it didn’t know how much iPhone X inventory it would have at launch.
The question will be is how much of the iPhone X activity happens in Q4 versus Q1 of next year, and we will kind of be prepared for either overall. We believe shipments of iPhone X could show 50% quarter-over-quarter growth in the first quarter of 2018.
Apple reports quarterly earnings on November 2, so perhaps it will give some insight into iPhone X pre-order volume and supply then.