News reports are suggesting that Apple will delay the launch of the new iPhone 8 to the October-November time frame. According to a research note from Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White, a contact with knowledge of Apple’s Asian supply chain who is increasingly “emphatic” that Apple’s new 3D camera is facing challenges that could result in delays.
According to news reports, the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will be delayed by several weeks due to challenges around the 3D sensing technology. One possibility that White lays out is that Apple could announce the redesigned iPhone in September, like it has for the past few years, but instead of it going on sale shortly afterwards, it would go up for pre-orders instead.
This would be a launch strategy not too dissimilar from Apple’s most recent new product, the AirPods wireless headphones, which were announced alongside the iPhone 7 last September but didn’t go on sale until December. However, AirPods were not available for pre-order when they were revealed.
The 3D camera is expected to be a banner feature on the redesigned iPhone, which is expected to launch alongside two other new models that are more similar to the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Drexel’s research suggests half of the iPhones Apple plans to manufacture will be the new, redesigned model.
The 3D camera will be critical for Apple’s ambition in augmented reality, a new technology that mixes the real world with computer graphics, that Apple CEO Tim Cook is fond of discussing in public. White also suggests that the 3D camera could have a facial recognition feature that won’t be fooled by a photo, like we have seen on many other smartphones.