Updated 5/2/17: CultofMac reports analysts at Deutsche Bank are confirming the delays. The analysts believe the delays are due to "component shortages and technical challenges." This would corroborate the rumors listed below. We here at Gadget Hacks will bring you more on this story as it develops.
Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8+ may have dominated the news up until their release, but there is no hype train on the planet that can match the one surrounding the impending release of any new iPhone. And yet, that train may have just derailed according to a new rumor suggesting there won't be a 10th anniversary iPhone released in 2017.
GSMArena reports that rumors circulating Foxconn, the manufacturer of the iPhone, says Apple only placed orders for iPhone 7S and 7S Plus units. In any other year, this wouldn't be news. But considering the massive anticipation that has been building around Apple's next big iPhone — and the tenth anniversary of the smart phone's debut — consumers around the world will be furious if the rumors turn out to be true.
Not releasing an iPhone 8 (or X, or whatever new name the phone gets) may prove to be even worse for Apple than the initial outrage surrounding the delay, if true. 9to5Mac reports that, based on CIRP data, one-third of iPhone sales from the last quarter came from legacy model phones. Not new ones.
While on the surface that may sound fine (Apple is still selling iPhones like hotcakes), this news is concerning considering that is the highest percentage of legacy phones sold since 2014, when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released.
Some speculate these high levels of legacy sales have resulted from Apple's lack of design changes between the 6S and the 7. If true, camera upgrades and haptic feedback haven't been enough to sway a large percentage of people. Ones who would rather pay less for what is, in their eyes, the same phone. And, of course, there's the whole headphone jack fiasco, which may have made the iPhone 7 less appealing to many potential buyers.
If Apple only releases S models this year, 2017 would mark the fourth year in a row for stagnant iPhone designs. That means we may see a larger percentage of legacy sales than what we're seeing now. Good for consumers. Bad for Apple shareholders and those of us who like to have the latest gadget with the latest tech.
But this isn't the first rumor we've heard about this new iPhone's allegedly troubled production.
On March 23, we learned that the new iPhone may not be ready to ship until late into the fourth quarter, almost a sneak peek at what we are finding out today.
On April 11, we were hearing that the iPhone may actually ship on-time, but would be removing the AR-ready 3D camera system to compensate.
On April 12, we reported the iPhone 8 may ship without the embedded Touch ID, a feature many people have been looking forward to. The rumor was Apple was having production yield issues and was considering removing the part to keep the phone on-schedule.
So many rumors.
If Apple wants increased sales this year — and to gain some ground on their Android competitors who seem to be cranking out more advanced tech at a faster clip — they may have to release that anniversary iPhone sooner rather than later. Whether that means cutting corners or not is yet to be seen.