Report: Apple’s high-end iPhone 8 could be delayed due to OLED and 3D sensing tech

Following a report earlier this week claiming that the launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone may be pushed to October or November, another report today adds more weight to a possible delay for the device versus the usual early to mid September launch dates of previous generations.

The report from Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White (via CNBC), claims that Apple’s expected high-end 5.8-inch model in the new iPhone 8 could be delayed beyond September due to difficulties related to the 3D sensing technology rumored to debut on the device:

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“First off, our smartphone contact believes the 3D sensing technology and OLED displays will only be offered with the 5.8-inch iPhone 8,” White said in a note emailed to CNBC. “However, our contact strongly believes the 5.8-inch iPhone will be delayed by several weeks due to challenges around the 3D sensing technology but still in time for the December holidays.”

Several reports in recent months have indicated that Apple is planning to use 3D sensor technology, possibly in combination with both the front and back cameras. That could allow for facial recognition, augmented reality applications, and other features that Apple has shown interest in.

Today’s report backs up one earlier this week from Economic Daily News that also claimed “technical issues” could cause delays for the device. More specifically, that report said suppliers were struggling to perfect the lamination process of curved OLED panels and adoption of the 3D sensing front camera system.

The 3D sensing tech and OLED displays, as White notes, are expected to only be offered with the 5.8-inch iPhone 8. For that reason, the other models expected in the next-generation iPhone lineup, including upgraded 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch models similar to the current generation devices, should be available in September without delay, according to the report.

Earlier this week, a separate report claimed Apple signed a two-year deal with Samsung to supply curved iPhone OLED displays with up to 92 million panels in 2017 alone. The iPhone 8 OLED is expected to be not as curved & edge-to-edge as Samsung’s Galaxy S8, while there have been conflicting reports about a rumored higher $1000 ASP for the OLED model. Catch up with our latest iPhone 8 news here.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.