iPhone X: Apple may only push out half as many as planned

But the situation may not be as dire as we first thought.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

Every rumor and report seems to paint the same bleak picture: Getting the iPhone X is going to be hard.

We've already heard rumors that the iPhone X, which goes on preorder Oct. 27, could be scarce because of production issues. Now a new report suggests that Apple is expected to ship only 20 million iPhone X devices by the end of 2017, which is half the number it initially planned on, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

This short supply is said to be the result of ongoing iPhone X manufacturing constraints. Earlier reports from Nikkei claimed that the complicated components in the iPhone X's Face ID camera system were creating bottlenecks that would limit the number of phones Apple can make in a day. This supports the theory that the iPhone X will be extremely difficult to get on its Nov. 3 release and in the weeks beyond. In fact, it's a good bet your iPhone X may not arrive until well into 2018.

Even Apple is telling people to show up to its stores early if they're planning to buy the handset on sale day.

The estimated number of units are all over the place.

Reports from early September claimed that Apple was producing the phones at a rate of 10,000 iPhones a day. But now Nikkei says current expectations fall at 10 million iPhone Xs made per month, which breaks down to roughly 33,333 handsets per day (assuming 30 days in a month). This paints a less dire picture than initial reports led us to believe, but if it does turn out that it's half the volume Apple originally planned, that production rate still spells shortage.

For reference, Apple sold a record 78.3 million iPhones last year in the same quarter it released the iPhone 7, but low supply of iPhone Xs could limit sales in the all-important holiday crush.

However, Apple is also reportedly negotiating with other manufacturers to make iPhone X parts, which, if successful, could speed up iPhone X production, Nikkei wrote. This opens up the possibility for a greater iPhone supply in the near future, but with Nov. 3 less than two weeks away, it could take time for the supply to catch up.

Watch this: Get the iPhone X ASAP

iPhone X preorders begin Friday, Oct. 27. Here's how to best preorder the iPhone X.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.