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Apple may only ship half the number of iPhone X devices it originally planned to this year

Apple may only ship half the number of iPhone X devices it originally planned to this year


The reduction is due to problems on its face authentication components

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Apple iPhone X
Image: Apple

The holy grail for many Apple fans, the iPhone X, has been plagued by production issues that already look to substantially limit supplies of the coveted device. Now, a new report from the Nikkei Asian Review clarifies just how much they’ll be limited: Apple will apparently ship only 20 million units this year, half of how much it had planned. The report suggests the reduction in units comes from technical issues surrounding components that are used in the new face authentication feature.

According to Nikkei, at the beginning of mass production for the iPhone X, there were defects that occurred in the OLED panels during the bonding process. Though that was fixed in July, there continued to be problems in assembling the module responsible for face authentication. The report states that manufacturers were only able to improve the number of good units made at the end of September, cutting it quite close to its planned release date of November 3rd. Around 10 million iPhone X units are being manufactured each month, according to the report, though Apple is believed to be in negotiations for additional production for some parts.

If Apple does end up only shipping 20 million iPhone X devices this year, that will be a huge drop to sales of a flagship device — in 2015, Apple sold 13 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus devices in its first weekend alone. It’s not as if there’s a lack of appetite. Many users have skipped the iPhone 8 to wait for the X, though those wanting the X will probably find it difficult to find and buy, at least until 2018. If you’re not too bothered about aesthetics, the iPhone 8 Plus may actually be even better than the X.