Why you might not get an iPhone X on day 1

iPhone manufacturers are reportedly still struggling with the Face ID sensors, which could mean a severe shortage.

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

The iPhone X's most talked about feature, facial recognition, could cause a lot of problems for Apple . According to a report by Nikkei Asian Review, iPhone manufacturers aren't building 3D sensors for the iPhone's TrueDepth camera system fast enough to keep up with yield rates. This means that when the iPhone X hits stores on Nov. 3 you're going to have a hard time getting one. 

Nikkei reported on complications with the 3D sensors' production last month, and apparently suppliers are still struggling to make enough of these iPhone parts. Specifically, a tech executive told Nikkei that production of the dot projector -- remember those tiny dots from Apple's Face ID demo? -- was a bit more difficult than anticipated.

Watch this: Apple explains Face ID on iPhone X

This is bad news for people who slept on the iPhone 8 to get the X, or who are hoping to get the phone in time for the holidays.

Right before the iPhone X was announced, it was estimated that Apple was producing only 10,000 of the phones a day. Analyst Jeff Pu told Nikkei that he estimates Apple will produce about 36 million iPhone X's this year, while other estimates claim that Apple is making about 400,000 of the phones per week. But considering that Apple sold 78.3 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2016 when the iPhone 7 was released -- which works out to about 798,877 iPhones sold per day -- these estimates paint a pretty dismal supply picture.

Preorders for the iPhone X open up on Oct. 27. Just keep in mind that you may need a little bit of patience and a lot of luck to get one.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.