It appears likely that the release of the iPhone 8 will be delayed, possibly into next year, according to new reports.
Cowen and Company has doubled down on its assessment that Apple’s work attempting to bring the Touch ID fingerprint scanning system into the device’s display is what’s behind the delay speculation, with a new note to investors suggesting that it could face a 4-6 week delay pushing it into October of this year. Deutsche Bank, meanwhile, has issued a research note suggesting that the iPhone 8 might not come out this year at all, citing a report from ValueWalk that outlined “key component shortages and technical challenges”.
That may be going too far. As Business Insider notes, “ValueWalk isn’t known for breaking major Apple news, and a delay on this magnitude would be a huge deal for Apple.” But the report does add credibility to the speculation that Apple’s Touch ID efforts are presenting a high obstacle in its production of the iPhone 8.
It may also be the case that Apple is wary of launching an imperfect device after witnessing the experience of its chief rival Samsung with its Note7 device last year, which faced a total recall costing the company billions due to a potentially dangerous defect. Meanwhile, Samsung’s new, iris-scanning Galaxy S8 smartphone offers a formidable opponent this year.
Regardless of the iPhone 8 delays, Apple is still expected to release an updated version of the iPhone 7 in late summer of this year.