Fans began salivating for the iPhone X the moment Apple unveiled its latest and greatest flagship smartphone. No doubt the phone is incredibly powerful and beautiful, but it costs $1,000. The hardcore fans eventually digested the fact that the phone might be worth $1,000. Then came the issue of availability. The iPhone X will not be available until November 3rd at the earliest. Only a lucky few will get the device on November 3rd. For others, the iPhone X delivery date will be pushed back to 2018, says KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone X Delivery Date
Image Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

iPhone X will be scarce during the holiday season

It’s not uncommon for new Apple products to face supply issues. But problems with the iPhone X seem to be far severe than other iPhones. The Cupertino company had to delay the phone’s launch by several weeks to November 3. Now Ming-Chi Kuo has told investors that the iPhone X will be difficult to find in stores during the holiday shopping season.

It means your only chance of getting the iPhone X ahead of the holiday season is if you pre-order the device within the first few hours when Apple starts taking pre-orders on October 27th, or if you stand in a queue for days in front of an Apple Store. Otherwise, the chances of getting your hands on the $1000 iPhone are slim during the holiday period.

In a research note to investors (via MacRumors), Ming-Chi Kuo said the iPhone X’s full-screen design and Face ID will drive a significant upgrade cycle. However, Apple will not be able to meet the market demand before the first half of 2018 “due to supply constraints.” The analyst reduced his iPhone X shipment estimates for this year from 45-50 million units to 40 million. Kuo is confident that the iPhone X delivery date for most buyers will be pushed back to 2018. As a result, he has increased his 2018 iPhone X shipment estimate to 80-90 million units.

In an earlier research note, the analyst had said that Apple’s partners were producing only 10,000 iPhone X units per day. He anticipated that the 10th-anniversary iPhone would remain in “severe short supply for a while.” Production is expected to go up in the coming weeks. The problem is mainly with the OLED screens that Apple is sourcing from Samsung Display. The tech giant is also in talks with LG Display to ramp up production.

Is Apple delaying the iPhone X delivery date because of the iPhone 8?

Kuo believes another reason Apple is delaying the iPhone X delivery date is that it doesn’t want the iPhone X to eat into the sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. These two handsets went on pre-order on September 15, and will hit the store shelves on September 22. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus look similar to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, though the new handsets have upgraded internal components.

Due to the anticipated delay, an analyst believes that many potential iPhone X buyers could switch to Android. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus look similar to their predecessors and don’t offer any major upgrade. Not many people can afford the iPhone X. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi told CNBC that the premium offerings from Google, Samsung, and LG could lure the potential iPhone X buyers away.

Of course, Apple still enjoys a high brand loyalty. But there are millions of people who were hoping to get the 10th-anniversary iPhone in their hands by September. Now they may not be able to buy it until early 2018. The delayed iPhone X delivery date would also hurt Apple’s quarterly results. The tech giant sells about 10-12 million new iPhones during the opening weekend. But this time, many consumers are waiting for the iPhone X, which is a much bigger upgrade, rather than pre-ordering the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.

iPhone X sets the stage for the next decade

Apple described the iPhone X as a revolutionary phone that would set the stage for the next decade. The phone is available only in Silver and Space Grey colors. It comes in two storage options: 64GB and 256. As usual, there is no microSD card slot. Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple could introduce more color options, including a Blush Gold, in the future.

The iPhone X has an all-screen OLED display with a top ‘notch’ to accommodate the selfie camera, ear speaker, and other sensors. The 5.8-inch screen has a resolution of 2436 x 1135. It has a vertically arranged dual camera system on the back. Both the front and rear cameras have a new feature called Portrait Lighting. It is powered by an A11 Bionic processor, which is built using 10nm manufacturing process.

Apple has used the True Tone technology that automatically adjusts the color balance and brightness based on the surrounding light. The new iPhone has a glass back to support inductive wireless charging based on Qi standard. The iPhone X also support augmented reality applications.