iPhone 8 to be Called iPhone Pro and Start at $1100: JP Morgan Apple Analyst

iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor Touch ID

A recent 9to5Mac report quotes JP Morgan’s Apple analyst Rod Hall as saying that Apple’s flagship iPhone for 2017, known generally as iPhone 8, will actually be released as ‘iPhone Pro’ and have a starting price of $1100.

Hall’s report says that the phones will be extremely limited in quantity to begin with, which he referred to as a ‘slower production start for the flagship OLED phone.’ Other sources say that iPhone 8, or iPhone Pro, won’t be shipped out until November.

But that’s not all. Even the non-flagship models, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, will only ramp up production in August, a month before iPhone production typically goes into full swing. This bit of news comes via Digitimes, which said:

“While there were previous reports indicating that volume production for new iPhone devices has commenced, yield rates at the two main ODMs, Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron, have not yet reached levels that warrant mass production”

Considering all of these factors, JP Morgan has adjusted its forecasts for iPhone sales over the quarters during and subsequent to the release of iPhone 8 and its non-OLED siblings.

While Foxconn is expected to assemble the bulk of 5.8-inch iPhone 8 units, Pegatron will be assembling the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and a small number of iPhone 8 units, while Wistron, another partner, will focus primarily on the 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus.

Total iPhone sales for fiscal 2017 is forecasted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch at 208.1 million units, down by 11 million units to account for the 3-4 weeks delay for iPhone 8 shipments. This was reported by analysts after a recent trip to Asia and conversations with Apple’s supply chain partners.

Apple now seems to be facing multiple problems with iPhone 8. Early reports suggested issues with embedding the fingerprint sensor in the display, but subsequent reports suggest that problems with wireless charging as well as 3D face recognition are adding to the delay.

So far, most of the problems seem to be with the software rather than the hardware. If that’s true, then some features could come disabled on iPhone 8. That would be akin to Samsung’s Bixby Voice not being available in English when the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus were first launched.

Last year, a software update brought Portrait Mode to iPhone 7 Plus; it’s possible that features like 3D face recognition and embedded fingerprint sensing may follow in a subsequent iteration of iOS 11.

This whole iPhone 8 experience has been a nightmare for Apple, and one report even says that its software engineers and designers are harried to the point of panicking.

If things don’t go as planned for Apple’s iPhone 8, it could mean a windfall for Samsung and its upcoming Galaxy Note 8, as well as the hot-selling Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. It would be a fitting twist of irony considering that iPhone 7 benefited from the failure of the Galaxy Note 7 last year.

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