A report out of The Wall Stree Journal states Apple’s upcoming iPhone X will be available in limited quantities due to one particular reason: Face ID. What with the new sensors and design work needed to make the feature work, the tenth-anniversary iPhone shouldn’t be too widespread when it launches this November 3rd.
Specifically, the iPhone X’s Face ID sensor array is split into two parts, with one codenamed “Romeo” and the other “Juliet” (you can see what they were going for here, obviously). According to WSJ, Apple has been having problems assembling the “Romeo” array of sensors since it takes longer to do than “Juliet.” Therefore, it’s created an imbalance in the production of iPhone X units and could restrict how many are available when the device launches. Reports that surfaced in the past suggested the X would be in limited availability likely due to high demand and the new technology that’s being built inside so it looks like at least a percentage of previous rumors were correct.
Of course, engineering these sensors to fit in a small notch above the bezel-less 5.8-inch OLED screen could also be proving a hassle for Apple. Previously, the company has strictly stuck with LCD panels for their iPhones and the same general form factors since 2014 so having to manufacture an edge-to-edge OLED display may be a new feat the company needs to learn to tackle. WSJ doesn’t note this in their report, but it’s a guess many members of our staff have been having.
Regardless, if this report rules out to be true, expect most preorders of the iPhone X to be fulfilled by the end of 2017, if not all. That’s a relatively long wait since the phone launches on November 3rd and there’s roughly a two-month gap between then and December 31st. There’s always a possibility this report is dead wrong and Apple can complete preorders in the first month of availability, but as it stands now, I wouldn’t expect your $1,000 iPhone to be at your doorstep on launch day.