iPhone X supply chain improvements, not weak demand, to thank for reduced ship times

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2017
This week's bump in iPhone X delivery estimates, now down to one to two weeks, fueled speculation of weakened demand for Apple's flagship handset, but noted KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the change is due to better than expected supply chain enhancements and parts availability.




Kuo in a note to investors seen by AppleInsider says Apple and its suppliers have addressed major productions issues that plagued iPhone X output for months, problems that led to woefully low launch day supply and lingering stock issues.

Reports leading up to this month's iPhone X debut claimed Apple and its supply partners struggled to boost device supply in the face of a variety of supply chain bottlenecks. Most focused on hardware associated with the phone's TrueDepth camera, though Kuo in his own analysis blamed short supply on a dearth of advanced liquid crystal polymer LTE antennas.

According to Kuo, Apple's production problems have been largely rectified. The company diversified LCP LTE antenna orders to include a second producer, Career, while production yields of TrueDepth's dot projector, known as the "Romeo" module, have increased.

Specifically, LTE antenna shipments from Career are expected to grow 100 percent sequentially in both November and December, while LG dot projector production yield from Innotek and Sharp is now at 80 to 90 percent, up from a sub-60 percent yield 1 to 2 months ago.

With the bottlenecks addressed, Foxconn is now pumping out between 450,000 to 550,000 iPhone X units per day, up from 50,000 to 150,000 in the weeks leading up to launch, Kuo says. The analyst believes fourth quarter shipments could be 10 to 20 percent higher than previously estimated, meaning first quarter 2018 shipments will experience some pull-in. As such, Kuo is forecasting flat or slightly lower quarter-over-quarter iPhone X shipments for the first quarter.

When iPhone X hit store shelves on Nov. 3, Kuo estimated Apple would have only 2 to 3 million iPhone X units stockpiled to meet pent up demand. As expected, a crush of customers exhausted initial supply, with preorders selling out within ten minutes of going live on Oct. 27. Demand for the handset quickly pushed estimated shipping times out to a high of 5 to 6 weeks in less than two hours of availability.

Apple has yet to reveal launch day numbers, saying only that initial customers response was "off the charts."

Delivery estimates slowly improved after peaking in early November, with some preorder customers noting shipping improvements over the past two weeks. Most recently, Apple on Wednesday updated its online store in the U.S. to reflect stock improvements that put estimated delivery times for new orders at 1 to 2 weeks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Not seeing this in real life - Apple missed my Nov. 24th delivery date and even falsely posted 'Customer Requested Future Delivery' on my shipping status update.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 25
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,146administrator
    jbtofly said:
    Not seeing this in real life - Apple missed my Nov. 24th delivery date and even falsely posted 'Customer Requested Future Delivery' on my shipping status update.
    That's not Apple -- that's your delivery agency.

    And yes, it's happening in "real life."
    SoliMartin57StrangeDayswatto_cobrachiajony0
  • Reply 3 of 25
    I’m grateful for this. Just got the X on the 1st day it’s available where I’m living despite I missed the reserved period due to having to go oversea on that day & that exact hour. What a joy!
    Now if only HomePod will have this kind of availability (relatively speaking).
    edited November 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,239member
    Actually it’s due to all those high school kids doing overtime in the factories in China 😉
  • Reply 5 of 25
    BenCBenC Posts: 12member
    It's definitely improving, my order (in the UK) was originally scheduled for pickup by December 13, but was first brought forward to December 1, and then today (November 25) I got a message to say it was ready for pickup. I'm on the iPhone Upgrade Programme which helps, I believe.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    Odd I live in a major metropolitan area and have not seen one X.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    jbtofly said:
    Not seeing this in real life - Apple missed my Nov. 24th delivery date and even falsely posted 'Customer Requested Future Delivery' on my shipping status update.
    My iPhone X was initially to be delivered on 8 December.  I received it yesterday, November 24th.  So, yes, shipments are improving in real life.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    Like most things in life, I think the truth lies in the middle, i.e., the supply chain has improved, but there is also some degree of weakened demand. Now that the diehard Apple fans have purchased the  phone, your average consumer is looking at that $1,000 price tag and hesitating, especially with many other purchases to make over the holiday season.

    Out of curiosity I went to the Apple website and looked for iPhone X availability in 6 major U.S. cities and found that pickup today is possible at most locations in each city. Phoenix and Denver have same day pickup in every single store. 

    Personally, I think that the wise thing to do at this point if you are in the market for the iPhone X is to wait another 3-5 weeks and see if Target, WalMart, etc., will offer a gift card promotion to offset the price. WalMart actually has a $300 gift card promo running right now, but of course none of their locations seem to have any stock. 
  • Reply 9 of 25
    BebeBebe Posts: 142member
    I believed this. I got an original ship date of Dec.1-8 but got mine delivered on 11/22. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,146administrator
    Like most things in life, I think the truth lies in the middle, i.e., the supply chain has improved, but there is also some degree of weakened demand. Now that the diehard Apple fans have purchased the  phone, your average consumer is looking at that $1,000 price tag and hesitating, especially with many other purchases to make over the holiday season.

    Out of curiosity I went to the Apple website and looked for iPhone X availability in 6 major U.S. cities and found that pickup today is possible at most locations in each city. Phoenix and Denver have same day pickup in every single store. 

    Personally, I think that the wise thing to do at this point if you are in the market for the iPhone X is to wait another 3-5 weeks and see if Target, WalMart, etc., will offer a gift card promotion to offset the price. WalMart actually has a $300 gift card promo running right now, but of course none of their locations seem to have any stock. 
    Have you made any connection to why the iPhone X is available this weekend for pickup?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Odd I live in a major metropolitan area and have not seen one X.
    The reason why people like you  hate mac users and by inference anything apple is because steve jobs broke the cardinal rule of computing when he invented the macintosh. You see, computing like many other professions was and still is to a certain effect shrouded in an an aura of mystique. Back in that era lare 70,s early 80,s a computer nerd was percieved as some kind of small clique of people who percieved themselves as some kind of elite. They spoke a special language and wore certain geeky clothes to identify themselves to one another. The more obscure, complicated and advanced the knowledge they possessed the more they felt they were above normal mortals. This advanced form of snobery still survives today in many forms , but especially in the mac versus pc crowd. They each deride each others choices and exchange flame wars over whose system is better. Its really very childish. Anyways to get back to why pc and windows snobs hate Apple is very simple- they opened up computing to the “unwashed masses” and made it possible for “grandma” to enter their domain. They have never forgiven Apple for that sin!
    StrangeDayschia
  • Reply 12 of 25
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,848member
    I’d get one of these in a second if I could afford one. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    Odd I live in a major metropolitan area and have not seen one X.
    Odd, I live in a very rural area and have seen quite a few.  In fact, I saw one today in a small diner that only seats about 30 people.  It was being used by one of the staff that I would guess is around 16 or 17.
    watto_cobrachiajony0
  • Reply 14 of 25
    Like most things in life, I think the truth lies in the middle, i.e., the supply chain has improved, but there is also some degree of weakened demand. Now that the diehard Apple fans have purchased the  phone, your average consumer is looking at that $1,000 price tag and hesitating, especially with many other purchases to make over the holiday season.
    Hmm so what’s the source of your data? Oh yeah, no source. In other words, you’re just making up your own conclusion.
    watto_cobrachiajony0
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Like most things in life, I think the truth lies in the middle, i.e., the supply chain has improved, but there is also some degree of weakened demand. Now that the diehard Apple fans have purchased the  phone, your average consumer is looking at that $1,000 price tag and hesitating, especially with many other purchases to make over the holiday season.

    Out of curiosity I went to the Apple website and looked for iPhone X availability in 6 major U.S. cities and found that pickup today is possible at most locations in each city. Phoenix and Denver have same day pickup in every single store. 

    Personally, I think that the wise thing to do at this point if you are in the market for the iPhone X is to wait another 3-5 weeks and see if Target, WalMart, etc., will offer a gift card promotion to offset the price. WalMart actually has a $300 gift card promo running right now, but of course none of their locations seem to have any stock. 
    Have you made any connection to why the iPhone X is available this weekend for pickup?
    Have you put any thought into this sudden availability on Black Friday? Apple was holding back supply, artificially increasing demand. Not to mention screwing over customers who ordered online and have been waiting weeks for delivery. I would be pissed if I had placed an order online in the last week or two and was patiently waiting for delivery while other people could just walk into an Apple Store yesterday and buy one. Way to take care of your customers Apple. 
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Odd I live in a major metropolitan area and have not seen one X.
    I went to Hong Kong and surprisingly found quite a few in MTR.

    We see what we want to see and all that...
    edited November 2017 watto_cobrachiajony0
  • Reply 17 of 25
    Like most things in life, I think the truth lies in the middle, i.e., the supply chain has improved, but there is also some degree of weakened demand. Now that the diehard Apple fans have purchased the  phone, your average consumer is looking at that $1,000 price tag and hesitating, especially with many other purchases to make over the holiday season.
    Hmm so what’s the source of your data? Oh yeah, no source. In other words, you’re just making up your own conclusion.
    Just an opinion. No data listed in my post, pal. 

    This article is actually just summarizing the opinion of one analyst. The author appropriately uses phrases such as, "Kuo believes," and, "according to Kuo," to signal this. 
  • Reply 18 of 25
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,757member
    Like most things in life, I think the truth lies in the middle, i.e., the supply chain has improved, but there is also some degree of weakened demand. Now that the diehard Apple fans have purchased the  phone, your average consumer is looking at that $1,000 price tag and hesitating, especially with many other purchases to make over the holiday season.
    Hmm so what’s the source of your data? Oh yeah, no source. In other words, you’re just making up your own conclusion.
    Just an opinion. No data listed in my post, pal. 


    Right, so nothing worth reading then.

    Fairynuff. 
    edited November 2017 StrangeDayschiajony0
  • Reply 19 of 25
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,019member
    jbtofly said:
    Not seeing this in real life - Apple missed my Nov. 24th delivery date and even falsely posted 'Customer Requested Future Delivery' on my shipping status update.
    1 post? Usually a troll!
    jony0
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Like most things in life, I think the truth lies in the middle, i.e., the supply chain has improved, but there is also some degree of weakened demand. Now that the diehard Apple fans have purchased the  phone, your average consumer is looking at that $1,000 price tag and hesitating, especially with many other purchases to make over the holiday season.

    Out of curiosity I went to the Apple website and looked for iPhone X availability in 6 major U.S. cities and found that pickup today is possible at most locations in each city. Phoenix and Denver have same day pickup in every single store. 

    Personally, I think that the wise thing to do at this point if you are in the market for the iPhone X is to wait another 3-5 weeks and see if Target, WalMart, etc., will offer a gift card promotion to offset the price. WalMart actually has a $300 gift card promo running right now, but of course none of their locations seem to have any stock. 
    Have you made any connection to why the iPhone X is available this weekend for pickup?
    Have you put any thought into this sudden availability on Black Friday? Apple was holding back supply, artificially increasing demand. Not to mention screwing over customers who ordered online and have been waiting weeks for delivery. I would be pissed if I had placed an order online in the last week or two and was patiently waiting for delivery while other people could just walk into an Apple Store yesterday and buy one. Way to take care of your customers Apple. 
    Welcome, newbie. I see you’ve trotted out a familiar trope - that apple, the biggest and most successful player in the industry, is intentionally not selling its products in order to drive up demand so they can later...sell products. The irrational failure of logic should be obvious here — apple makes its record profit by selling products, and not by not selling them, especially in order to only sell them later. And they don’t need to drive up demand because it’s already the most demanded product and already they can’t make them quick enough. No, you’re just ignorant to the challenges and realities of building and distributing manufactured goods not to mention doing so at the insane scale at which apple must do so with iphones. They don’t fall off trees and have to come from somewhere. There is nothing like the insane peak demand at launch and it’s impossible to supply them all at once. Ramp up is a thing. Yield, efficiency, experience, time, etc. 
    edited November 2017 chiaRonnnieOtmaydsdSolijony0
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