Good luck finding an iPhone X this Holiday season
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Apple fans everywhere have already marked their calendars for October 27 in anticipation for iPhone X pre-order availability. Cook had promised during his keynote speech on September 12 that the smartphone would be publicly available from November 3 and onwards, but analysts close to the supply chain are now suggesting that most users may have to wait until early 2018 before receiving their orders.
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, pre-orders for the iPhone X could top 50 million to effectively constrain Apple's production for months to come. Exactly how long users would have to wait before supply can finally catch up, however, appears to differ between analysts. Jan Dawson, an analyst at Jackdaw Research, predicts that Apple will be unable to meet demand until after Q1 2018 while Apple investor Gene Munster is hoping for January 2018. In either case, it's generally expected that the anniversary iPhone will not be an easy buy for the upcoming Holiday shopping season.
Sources close to the Wall Street Journal say the tight supply could be due to Face ID and OLED production hurdles. In particular, the unique Dot Projector that projects an IR 3D mesh onto the face of the user has proven to be a challenge to mass produce. Internally referred to as "Romeo", the tricky Dot Projector must be produced in equal numbers to the more easily manufactured IR receiver - dubbed "Juliet" - for Face ID to function. As for the OLED panel, analyst Ben Wood from CCS Insight tells USA Today that OLED yield for the iPhone X is still far too low to expect anything more than 10 to 12 million iPhone X units by the end of 2017.
Of course, the mountainous demand and restrictive supply have already attracted scalpers on eBay. Sellers are promising worldwide availability on launch day for exorbitant prices of over $2000 USD or over twice the retail price of the 64 GB model. Unfortunately for most users, the best way to receive an iPhone X will be to pre-order one directly from Apple later this month and hope for the best.
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