It’s not just Apple fans that are excited for the 10th anniversary iPhone. Apple’s supply chain is equally optimistic about the so-called iPhone 8. Asian supply chain sources told Digitimes that suppliers expect to ship 60 million to 70 million iPhone 8 units in 2017. The device is said to have an all-new design, and feature a 5.8-inch AMOLED display.
iPhone 8 small volume production to begin in March
Sources told the publication that Samsung Display would be the sole supplier of OLED panels for the iPhone 8. The Korean company would be able to supply up to 20 million display panels per month for Apple’s flagship device. Digitimes added that Nissha Printing could supply touch sensors, while TPK Holding would be responsible for bonding the touch sensors with OLED panels.
Sources told the publication that small volume production of the iPhone 8 would kick off in March 2017. Production would be ramped up significantly in May and June, ahead of the phone’s official unveiling in September. It’s worth pointing out that Digitimes has a hit-or-miss track record when it comes to Apple product leaks. However, the publication has been mostly accurate in revealing which suppliers have landed contracts with Apple.
iPhone 8 may account for 50-55% of new model shipments
The 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will have a button-less, bezel-free design. The fingerprint sensor and home functionality would be incorporated in the display panel. Apple is said to launch two other handsets as well – iPhone 7S and 7S Plus – that will be iterative upgrades to the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. Though the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will employ LCD panels, all three devices would feature wireless charging, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The 60-70 million units of the iPhone 8 that suppliers expect to ship in 2017 are in addition to the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus sales, said Digitimes. Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the OLED iPhone 8 will account for 50% to 55% of shipments of new models next year. The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will retain the design of their predecessors.
Wistron lands contract to assemble 2017 iPhones
Chinese-language Economic Daily News reports that Wistron will also be assembling some of the future iPhones. Wistron has been responsible for the iPhone 5C and iPhone SE assembly in the past. It is unclear whether it will be assembling the iPhone 7S, 7S Plus or the high-end iPhone 8. The other two major assemblers are Foxconn and Pegatron.
Wistron has hiked its investment in Kunshan, China to $200 million, about $65 million more than its previous budget, reports Apple Insider. If the report turns out to be true, it will be the first time Wistron will be responsible for assembling a primary iPhone rather than cheaper alternatives like the iPhone 5C and iPhone SE.