All signs point to Apple releasing three new iPhones this fall. Unfortunately though, one of them may not release on time, according to a report from the production line.
Among Apple's two iPhone X successors — believed to be sized at 5.8 and 6.5 inches — Cupertino has long been rumored to be planning an entry-level 6.1-inch model which will incorporate a single rear camera and LCD screen, unlike the more expensive dual-lens, OLED-fitted models.
According to Japanese blog Macotakara, it's this 6.1-inch iPhone that will face shipping delays, as supplier Japan Display is reportedly facing low yields in manufacturing the LCD panels that will power that particular version.
The issue might sound surprising to those who remember the iPhone X's delay last year, which was said to relate to limited supply of OLED screens. The dilemma this time around concerns the particular process Japan Display is using the construct these compact LCD panels, which feature a slimmer border around them than LCD displays typically do.
The results haven't been meeting the high yields sufficient for launch, Macotakara reports, which may result in the 6.1-inch iPhone being held back until November, while the other models achieve their targets for October.
LCD screens may be cheaper than their OLED counterparts, but they're also more difficult to shape. That may explain why renderings, prototypes and images of the entry-level iPhone show a device with larger bezels than the current iPhone X. The overall shape of the display remains the same, but the border surrounding it is noticeably thicker.
This isn't the first time we've heard of delays facing the 6.1-inch iPhone. A Morgan Stanley analyst stated to Barron's just a few days ago that the cheapest of Apple's 2018 handsets would show up a month late to market. That was actually an improvement over the initial forecast of six weeks.
You needn't look further than Apple's 2017 iPhones to find a recent example of the company being forced into shipping a pillar of its product line later than the rest to accommodate production woes. In other words, there's definitely a precedent at play here, and it's looking increasingly likely that a similar story will play out this fall.
With a little more than a month to go until Apple reveals everything, this surely won't be the last we hear on the subject — so keep an eye on our iPhone rumor roundup for the latest news.