iPhone 8 production to begin early, supply chain insists, as iris scanner remains rumored


iPhone 8 concept via @VenyaGeskin1

A new supply chain report from Digitimes claims Apple is shifting iPhone 8 production up earlier than usual for the company. The report also continues to push the rumor that Apple is planning iris scanning technology in the next flagship iPhone.

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Apple has requested its chip and component suppliers start trial production, inspection and prepare inventories for the new iPhone series earlier than usual, said the sources. Deliveries of chips and parts for the new models are expected to kick off in the second half of first-quarter 2017, the sources indicated.

While earlier than usual production was separately reported earlier this week, a Fast Company piece two days ago cited an anonymous source in saying that the iPhone 8 will likely still launch around the usual September timeframe. It’s possible Apple is ramping up production earlier to meet what is expected to be greater than usual demand without sacrificing quality.

Digitimes also cites industry sources in claiming Apple plans to introduce iris scanning and wireless charging in the new iPhone. Fast Company specifically named Lumentum earlier this week as one firm supplying a new laser sensor for the upcoming iPhone which could be used for depth perception with Apple’s new biometric security technology.

While at least one model of the new iPhone is expected to retail for over $1000, KGI yesterday released an investor report pointing to a change in 3D Touch display technology that will be partly to blame for higher production costs. In that report, KGI predicts all three new iPhone models will include wireless charging technology, too, which has not yet been done on any iPhone.

Apple is also expected to introduce a new design later this year after the iPhone 7 largely iterated on the iPhone 6 look. An all-glass design with stainless steel borders could be the first to introduce an OLED display and stronger water resistance.

To find everything we currently know about the next major iPhones, catch up on our iPhone 8 guide here.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.