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iPhone X production woes seem to be coming to an end

by Sean P. Aune | October 20, 2017October 20, 2017 6:00 am PST

If you’re hoping to find an iPhone X close to its Nov. 3 launch date, it appears your odds are improving.

Well-known KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new report that indicates Apple is overcoming its production bottlenecks on the iPhone X. Kuo pointed to three pain points Apple had encountered during the early stages of production: The flexible printed circuit board (FPCB), wide-angle rear camera lens, and the TrueDepth infrared dot projector.

According to Kuo, the FCPB issue arose from initial supplier Amphenol not being able to produce the intricate module in the numbers needed until the second quarter of 2018. To alleviate the issue Apple has reportedly brought in a second manufacturer, Career. The additional company is said to be currently testing its production lines to be able to ramp up throughout November.

As to the camera lens issue, the iPhone X uses separate PCBs for the wide-angle and telephoto lenses on the rear of the device. Apparently, supplier Interflex has had some quality issues with the wide-angle lens and is currently trying to work those out.

And finally, reports of issues with the TrueDepth camera’s infrared dot projector have been circulating for some time now. Kuo states, however, the “worst is behind us” and that everything seems to have now been addressed.

While Apple is addressing all of these production hurdles, Kuo still expects there to be only in the area of 2 to 3 million iPhone X units available at launch. He has also adjusted his predictions for the entirety of the fourth quarter down to a total of 25 to 30 million units from a previous report of 30 to 35 million. While that may make it sound like it will be harder to find than some thought, the higher prediction always seemed optimistic due to the numerous reports of issues. With new reports of the hurdles having been cleared, the lower estimate feels a bit more realistic.

You’ll find an iPhone X. It just may not be on the actual day of Nov. 3, but it feels like it will be within a few weeks of that.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...