We heard recently that the iPhone X may be delayed beyond Apple’s planned launch date, which is Nov. 3, but one analyst said this morning that this simply isn’t true. Another analyst feels that the concerns about this year’s iPhone cycle are “misplaced.” Preorders for the handset are slated to begin later this month.
The reports of the iPhone X delayed seem to have come from Raymond James analyst Christopher Caso, who wrote in late September that there has been an “incremental delay in the build plans” for the iPhone X. He added that this has shifted production later in the December quarter and that final production actually hadn’t begun and wouldn’t begin until mid-October.
Then on Friday, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo warned that the iPhone X “super cycle” won’t actually begin until next year, even though Wall Street “generally refers to 2017 as the super cycle of the iPhone.”
According to MacRumors, he said in a note that Apple’s suppliers are having serious production issues with the TrueDepth camera, and those problems won’t be “significantly addressed” until fiscal 2018. Further, he expects the models launched in fiscal 2018, which is the iPhone X, to have a “longer sales period” than those that are unveiled this year. Additionally, he feels that the fiscal 2018 models will have more competitive features and designs.
Given the way he referred to the iPhone models launched in fiscal 2018, it seems likely that he is including next year’s phones, which could retain many of the same features as the iPhone X. Kuo didn’t even give a report of the iPhone X delayed, but some could take his report as further evidence of it.
Then today, MarketWatch reported that Citigroup analysts called the reports of the iPhone X delayed “inaccurate.” They cited their own supply chain checks as the reason they expect the phone to launch in early November, as Apple has said. However, they reiterated other firms’ reports of extreme supply constraints.
Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White reported on his final September Apple Monitor results in a note to investors today. He observed record third-quarter growth in his gauge, which includes key Apple suppliers in Taiwan. He feels that the worries about how strong this iPhone cycle will be are “misplaced given the unconventional, staggered launch with the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X.” He believes that industry observers are “confused” by this staggered launch and expects Apple stock to benefit from this iPhone cycle.
White’s Apple Monitor recorded a 17% month-over-month increase in sales, compared to the 13% average increase over the last 12 years and the 12% increase in August 2014 when Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus sustained major yield issues. Thus, White seems to be assuring investors that they shouldn’t worry so much about yield problems or the reports of the iPhone X delayed because Apple still managed to pull out an exceptionally strong iPhone 6 cycle despite the early yield problems with the iPhone 6 Plus.