The new iPhone 8 is unlikely to arrive in shops until November or even December, the latest report from Apple’s Chinese production line claims. Stock shortages are expected to run well into 2018.
Even the most optimistic estimate of November is some way behind the company’s annual launch window for the new iPhone, which usually falls between September and October.
The report, which comes from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, also claims the delay will impact updated versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus – to be called the 7S and 7S Plus – as well as the all-new iPhone 8, which has been the subject of delay rumours for some time.
Cited by DigiTimes, the report claims the new iPhone 8, which is expected to feature an all-new design and an OLED display, will only arrive “in small volumes” at launch.
This is often the case with new iPhones, and saw black versions of the iPhone 7 Plus delayed by several weeks when it launched in 2016.
It was previously understood that the iPhone 8 would be delayed while the 7S and 7S Plus would arrive on time, shipping in late September as normal. But the latest Economic Daily News report now claims none of the new iPhones have entered mass production yet.
Although last year was a break with tradition, Apple usually announces how many iPhones it has sold during the handsets opening weekend. For the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in 2015 some 13 million devices were sold in the first three days, giving an indication of just how many need to be built in the weeks leading up to the phone’s debut.
The report claims mass production of the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will begin in August, four to eight weeks behind Apple’s usual schedule.
It isn’t clear if Apple will delay the reveal of the new iPhones, which is expected to take place around 5 September, or if it will take the same approach as it did with the Watch, and more recently the iMac Pro, where the products were shown off to the press months before they went on sale.
Neither Apple nor its manufacturing partners Foxconn and Pegatron comment on rumours of unannounced products.