The good news about the iPhone 8 is that the rumored features for the new phone — from its OLED screen to its AR-friendly camera — make it sound like a real powerhouse.
The bad news? A growing number of reports suggest you'll have to wait longer than usual to get your hands on Apple's 10th anniversary flagship.
Typically, Apple announces its latest iPhones at a press event in September with the new devices shipping a few weeks later. That was rumored to be the game plan for this year, with Apple introducing three models — revamped versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus alongside an iPhone 8 with more drool-worthy features like an edge-to-edge display and a fingerprint sensor that lives under the screen.
Multiple reports now suggest this more advanced iPhone may be announced at the same time Apple introduces its other updated models, but that it will ship later in the year.
In the latest report, China's Economic Daily News says that Apple's supply partners have indeed started working on the iPhone 8's components, but there has been a snag that could ultimately push back the device's release.
According to the report, which cited sources, there have been "technical issues" with the production of the iPhone 8's curved OLED panels. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 is said to be coming with a 3D sensing technology that could be used to deliver augmented reality features in Apple's next handset -- a possibility that has been floated in several recent rumors. However, the report suggests that the feature could also put a drag on manufacturing.
Now, instead of a September release for Apple's big iPhone update, the Economic Daily News sources say the iPhone 8 might have been pushed back to October, or worse, November. The report added that more details on Apple's production plans should crop up between now and June, when Apple's manufacturing partners are expected to be in full production mode.
The first to raise the possibility of a delay was Digitimes in a report on the redesigned fingerprint reader for the more advanced iPhone. That report suggested production on an OLED-based iPhone wouldn't begin until September, thanks to Apple's plans for a new fingerprint sensor.
But other sources are beginning to flag a later launch date for the iPhone 8 as well. A report by French site iGeneration, spotted by 9to5Mac, claims that STMicroelectronics will supply sensors for a 3D camera system that's been rumored for the iPhone 8. In that report, iGeneration claims STMicroelectronics may not be ready with the sensors until September.
Japanese site Macokatara reported much the same thing, claiming a premium iPhone would be available later than the rumored iPhone 7s and 7s Plus updates. Macokatara also claims the new phone will be called the iPhone Edition, which we hope is a name that's been lost in translation.
Earlier reports suggested Apple was planning to get a head start on production of its next iPhone, which would seem to contradict this latest round of reported iPhone 8 delays. Then again, that report could cover the other iPhone updates Apple is reportedly planning for 2017 and not the high-end iPhone 8.
Announcing a high-end iPhone at the same time as more modest updates to the iPhone lineup isn't as crazy as it sounds. Apple would be able to promise a high-end phone for big spenders while still refreshing the iPhone lineup with new models. But the iPhone may not cost as much as $1,000, as previously rumored.
Of course, we'll be left to guess about Apple's plans until we get closer to that rumored fall announcement for this year's iPhone updates.
Image Credit: Handy Abovergleich