There is a high probability that most readers would have heard that the iPhone 8 might still get a September release. According to reports from last week, the tenth anniversary phone is about to go on mass production in the next couple of months. If that happens, there really is a strong chance that consumers might get a glimpse of the highly anticipated phone later this year.
That said, there are other stuff that was reported about the iPhone 8 last week. While some may not seem quite important, they still deserve some amount of perusing and analysis. Starting off with the rumored production start for the Apple A11 chip.
TSMC starts A11 SoC mass production
According to a report last week, Apple chip maker TSMC have started the mass production of the A11 chip. This ARM SoC will be used on the iPhone 8. According to the same report, the semiconductor manufacturer initially planned to start the fabrication sometime last April. However, due to some unforeseen hurdles, the actual production was started a month later.
iPhone 8 concept designs (via macrumors.com)
This report came from Digitimes, a website which has been associated with the nitty-gritty side of electronic manufacturing. According to its sources, TSMC has received orders from Apple for the 10nm A11 chip.
LG to supply 3D front-facing cameras
Another bit of information for the iPhone 8 last week was the supposed sourcing of the >3D camera sensor from LG Innotek. This news came from The Investor also saying that the company has already setup a new plant to fulfil future orders from Apple. The initial figures reported for the deal is around 200 billion won or $178 million.
According to the same report, the front-facing 3D camera sensor will be used in a variety of applications. Chief of which is facial recognition as well as other contents like games and augmented reality. It should be noted that the facial recognition feature of the iPhone 8 is slightly different from the one used in the Samsung Galaxy S8. The main difference being is that the latter uses a 2D sensor instead of a 3D version.
iPhone 8 pricing
A few months back, a number of analysts have predicted just how much the iPhone 8 is going to cost. There have been numerous debates as to how these analysts came up with their pricing. But nonetheless, most of these experts have agreed that the iPhone 8 will cost somewhere north of $1,000. This is said to be due to new features that will be added to the phone. Features including 3D facial recognition, embedded TouchID sensor and more.
Some analysts suggested that there is a chance that Apple might consider lowering its profit margin for the iPhone 8. Analysts hope that it will start what is called the “commodity super cycle.”
Alleged dimensions for tenth anniversary iPhone (by KGI Securities via macrumors.com)
What this means is that there will be an increase in demands for iPhone 8 products, due to its new features. That said, increased demand may lower the price of the iPhone 8. Especially if Apple is able to deliver on the promised specs as well as keep the supply in-check. Of course, this nothing but hypothetical. There is no way of telling if the iPhone 8 will really take off on its first few months of release. Especially when the Samsung Galaxy Note 9s also due for release later this year.
At the moment, analysts from >Goldman Sachs suggest that the 128GB version of the iPhone 8 may be sold for around $999. Meanwhile, the 256GB version might fetch a price of $1,099. It is also quite surprising that the financial firm does not expect that said phone to come in a storage size lower than 128GB.
On another note, an analyst from UBS predicts that there will be a 64GB version of the iPhone 8. Furthermore, this version of the phone will be priced somewhere between $859 and $900. It is worth noting that both the UBS and Goldman Sachs predictions seem to agree that the 128GB version will be priced around $1,000.
In retrospect, these predictions are not really that far from the current price point of the iPhone 7 Plus. At the moment, the 256GB version of the iPhone 7 Plus is priced at $969. Underlining the key differences between the upcoming iPhone 7s Plus and the iPhone 8, the higher price on the latter is somewhat justifiable.
Apple still on for September launch
As stated earlier, it would seem that Apple is still on for a September launch for the iPhone 8. Reports from last week revealed that its Asian supply chain is gearing up for mass production. So far, TSMC and other component suppliers like Kinsus Interconnect, Zheng Deng Technology, and Simply Technology have already ramped up production of parts for the iPhone 8.
In addition to this, known Apple contractors, Foxxconn, Winstron, and Pegatron, have already started training their new employees for the upcoming iPhone production. These companies have also finished setting up new assembly lines that will cater to the tenth anniversary phone from Apple.
Render of iPhone 8 shell (via macrumors.com)
According to reports, production may start sometime in July or August. Right now, Apple’s suppliers are working very hard to meet orders from the company. If all goes well, all the components needed for the iPhone 8 will be available sometime before the end of June.
While there are roughly four more months until the rumored September launch, Apple is slowly getting pressed for time. After dealing with a number of issues for the wireless charging and display-mounted TouchID features, the next hurdle is to get the phone in production. Eventually, if Apple manages to pull through, consumers could be seeing the iPhone 8 later this year. Perhaps also, we might not even wait a long time before the first units ship out to consumers. Of course, this will be entirely dependent on Apple keeping track of its suppliers and contractors for the upcoming iPhones. For more updates on the iPhone 8, be sure to check us out at >TheBitbag.