- As has become customary with new releases, production of Apple's iPhone X has run into a components snag, with fewer "Romeo" pieces available to work with "Juliet," both of which are vital to new facial recognition technology, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
- The parts availability imbalance is caused by the more challenging to assemble Romeo components, which is impacting assembly time and could affect the planned release date of November 3.
- Originally, iPhone X was meant to incorporate a Touch ID function, allowing allows users to simply scan a fingerprint in order to open the phone. Trouble combining the scanner into OLED displays proved hard to overcome, however, leading Apple to drop the scanner feature. A shortage of OLED display availability also cramped early production goals.
Various supply chain issues were cited for the newest iPhone's delayed release: Romeo and Juliet are just the latest.
Initially, Apple suppliers were rumored to be struggling with OLED production as Samsung, its maker, faced competing demands for its own phone production. Then the wireless charger and Touch ID components were said to be the problem. Eventually, OLEDs won out as the primary problem, with Touch ID coming in at a close second.
Apple is exerting itself to solve its perpetual supply chain issues by taking over more and more of its own production. Though some aspects involve only the purchase of equipment (plus a vendor willing to use them), others involve drawn-out lawsuits and potential copyright infringement. What's clear is that Apple needs to both anticipate its own needs well in advance of its upcoming product development efforts, let alone new releases. Without such action, the company risks predictability in terms of delays, a condition its gone out of its way to avoid in its product offerings.