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Report: Apple Inc.'s New iPhone Models "On Schedule"

By Ashraf Eassa - May 9, 2017 at 7:15AM

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Though Apple's next iPhone has been rumored to be delayed, a fresh report says that the new devices are actually on track.

According to a report from Economic Daily News (by way of DigiTimes), Apple's ( AAPL 1.34% ) upcoming iPhones won't be delayed, apparently contrary to press and analyst speculation. 

The report goes on to say that major Apple suppliers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company ( TSM -2.07% ), which is said to be responsible for the manufacture of Apple's upcoming A11 chip, "are ready to ramp up related iPhone parts starting in June."

Apple's iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black.

Image source: Apple.

In addition, the report said circuit-board suppliers Zhen Ding Technology and Kinsus Interconnect Technology have "managed to improve the yield rates of [substrate-like printed circuit board], paving the way for volume production of the SLP materials in June."

And, finally, the report claims that Apple's key iPhone contract manufacturers -- Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron -- "are accelerating the recruitment and training of new workers in China in preparation of the new iPhone."

An on-time iPhone would be nice

It almost goes without saying that the sooner Apple can introduce newer, better technologies into the marketplace, the better it is for both Apple and its investors.

Indeed, based on the performance of Apple's iPhone business over the past two quarters -- 5% year-over-year unit growth in the first quarter and a 1% year-over-year drop in the second quarter -- it's clear that the new devices, though competent, aren't exactly driving much growth.

So the sooner Apple can get out its new iPhones, especially the premium OLED iPhone 8, the sooner the company can potentially return its iPhone business to solid unit, revenue, and ultimately profit growth.

In addition, the sooner Apple gets this year's products out the door, the sooner it can shift additional resources to the development of the coming year's iPhone. Or, put another way, the longer Apple's development teams need to work on getting this year's iPhone out the door, the odds that the next iPhone is also delayed increase.

Have we mentioned that sooner is better?

One more reason sooner is better for rolling out the next generation of iPhones: At any given time, there will be individuals out buying new smartphones, even if the launch of a new product from a major smartphone vendor like Apple is imminent and that fact is widely known. Such buyers choose to buy devices when they do for a variety of reasons: They might be first-time smartphone buyers, their previous device may have broken and they need to buy a new one immediately, they just started a new job and receive a company-issued phone, or they might simply have scored a good deal on a previous-generation phone as resellers look to offload older phones ahead of the next-generation device launch.

The sooner Apple can have these potential smartphone buyers picking between its newest iPhone 8 with OLED display and whatever top-of-the-line Android devices are available, rather than pitting the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus against such devices, the better Apple's odds are of winning over the customers' hard-earned dollars.

A caveat

There is one caveat here -- sooner is better if the product isn't compromised.

For example, if Apple were to, say, nix the rumored in-display fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 8 in favor of a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor to hit a September launch window, that'd be a mistake. Though a delay would be regrettable, pushing out availability of the device by a month or two to have a much better product in the market for the next year would, in my view, be the better choice. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$162.39 (1.34%) $2.15
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited Stock Quote
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
$116.81 (-2.07%) $-2.47

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