[THE INVESTOR] Korean parts suppliers for Apple’s first OLED iPhone are said to have started their shipments just recently, hinting at the phone’s delayed launch no earlier than November.
“We started our shipments from late August,” an official from a local Apple supplier told The Investor on condition of anonymity on Sept. 4. He said his firm usually ships parts for Apple in the initial phase of the supply chain, declining to further elaborate.
“Apple has not yet informed us the exact supply volume as it was still fine-tuning hardware specifications for the OLED iPhone until last week,” he added.
Apple last week sent a media invitation for the new iPhone unveiling on Sept. 12. But considering most parts suppliers have started their shipments in recent weeks, industry sources predict the OLED model release could be delayed to November.
“Even if the OLED iPhone is launched in September, it will be available in an extremely limited quantity,” said another source who also wished to be unnamed.
His forecast is in line with predictions by KGI Securities analyst Min-Chi Kuo who has a good track record of correctly relaying information on new Apple devices. He earlier predicted the iPhone 8 would be available in limited numbers, about 2 to 4 million, in September.
Apple is widely rumored to launch three variants of the new iPhone, including one OLED model. Sources said parts supply for the two LCD models started from June to hit the market immediately upon their unveiling.
Samsung Display is the sole display supplier for the OLED iPhone, while LG Display is one of the key suppliers for the LCD models. Parts makers, including camera module maker LG Innotek, are likely to benefit from the increased iPhone models that are expected to come with a dual-lens camera.
“Some Apple partners are expected to see their iPhone revenue almost double this year,” the source predicted.