Report: 3D sensor production ramp suggests iPhone 8 to launch later than September

Apple is widely expected to launch three new iPhones this year, two iterative updates to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and one radical new form factor device with an OLED screen, informally dubbed ‘iPhone 8’.

Recent reports have suggested that the iPhone 8 may launch later than the other two models, as some of the innovative components will not be ready for September …

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Specifically today, iGeneration is reporting that STMicroelectronics will be making sensors for the front 3D camera system, expected to be a major feature for the OLED iPhone.

The 3D camera will apparently be able to detect depth of objects held in front of the iPhone and may play a big role in rumored iPhone 8 facial recognition features.

The report says STMicroelectronics is now committed to providing such components for the next iPhone; in its financial report it alluded to major investment in new products without mentioning Apple by name. The CEO said it expects “a contract recently taken [will lead to] substantial revenues expected in the second half of 2017.”

However, the iGeneration report suggests that ramping to mass production of the technology will take time and the supplier may not be ready for September, the month Apple typically unveils its new iPhone lineup.

This all comes together to suggest that the iPhone 8 will not be available to buy in September. A report from Macotakara last night corroborated this line of thinking, predicting the high-end iPhone will launch much later than the other two ‘iPhone 7s’ devices.

Last week, a report said that the iPhone 8 would go into mass production in September. The iPhone supply chain usually ramps much earlier, around July. This again suggests that the OLED iPhone will not be available until months after.

To recap, rumors suggest Apple will debut three new iPhone devices in 2017. One device is purported to be a major radical redesign, featuring a 5.8 inch OLED display, larger battery, 3D camera, wireless charging, and bezel-less front, plus two iterative updates that retain the same chassis as the current iPhone 7 series. The OLED iPhone has been rumored to cost in excess of $1000 — and offered in 64 GB and 256 GB configurations.

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