Despite mounting reports of supply bottlenecks for the highly-anticipated iPhone X, yield rates for some of the smartphone’s components have reportedly improved and become more stable, allowing for shipments up the next-gen iPhone to increase substantially after this month.
According to a new report from Digitimes, supply chain sources report that yield rates for iPhone X components have improved – including the 3D camera modules that were said to be limiting production volumes, initially very severely.
The report details that “[t]he first batch of iPhone X devices has already been shipped out from Foxconn Electronics‘ site in Zhengzhou (Henan, China), said the sources. With production yield rates for certain key components such as 3D sensing modules improving, shipments of the device have increased gradually and will meet Apple’s demand ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the sources indicated.”
DigiTimes‘ sources at analog IC vendors said that chip deliveries for the iPhone X have been on schedule up to now, with orders fulfilled on time for the device in the third quarter.
The same sources claimed they were not aware of any production delays or shipment cutbacks, contradicting many reports and analyst claims of supply issues, particularly with respect to tricky-to-manufacture 3D sensing modules used in Apple’s new TrueDepth camera.
It is important to keep in mind that, as with all supply-chain reports, things move onto more vague ground when component manufacturers make statements about things of which they have no knowledge. They know about their own production levels; they don’t necessarily know how many other suppliers Apple is using to produce the same component, and they don’t know about their production yields.
All the same, this is certainly great news for Apple, and for many iPhone buyers who want an iPhone X this year. But while you may be able to buy one in time for Christmas, it doesn’t mean Apple will necessarily meet consumer demand this year.
Digitimes’ sources expect Apple to satisfy iPhone X demand only in the first quarter of 2018.