It isn’t the curved display or reported AR features that’s proving difficult for Apple to manufacture. According to a research note from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri, the iPhone 8’s “biggest bottleneck” is integrating the Touch ID sensor underneath the display, which Apple is reportedly struggling to mass produce.
As far as Arcuri is concerned, the issues encountered by Apple could lead to one of three scenarios: Apple removes Touch ID entirely and instead relies on facial/iris recognition; Apple puts Touch ID on the back of the iPhone 8; Apple delays production of the iPhone 8, with a later-than-expected launch.
We’ve already heard murmurs about a potential iPhone 8 delay; it’s unlikely Apple will compromise by moving the fingerprint reader to the back, especially as it looks to regain its lead over Samsung as the mobile industry’s biggest innovator.
According to Arcuri, the current yield of Apple’s AuthenTec solution is low, which may delay production until September. Typically, Apple begins producing a device in July or August to ensure demand is met. If that’s the case, finding an iPhone 8 when it launches at the end of this year will be very difficult indeed.
Delays, delays, delays
The iPhone 8 is expected to feature an entirely new design, including a 5.8-inch OLED display, wireless charging, improved water and dust resistance, and lack a home button, instead opting for a “function area.” Hopefully, whatever setbacks the iPhone 8 is facing won’t be too difficult for Apple to overcome.
Worst case scenario, Apple is unable to integrate Touch ID beneath the iPhone 8’s display and instead moves it to the back of the phone. Then, the device will truly be a Galaxy S8 clone.