October 24, 2017 6:40 pm JST
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Apple to settle for half its planned iPhone X shipments this year

Problematic parts related to face recognition slowed output

KOTARO HOSOKAWA, DEBBY WU, EMI OKADA, Nikkei staff writers

Apple iPhone X samples are displayed during a product launch event in Cupertino, California, on Sept. 12. © Reuters

TOKYO/BEIJING/OSAKA -- Initial shipments of Apple's highly anticipated iPhone X are expected to total around 20 million units, only half the planned amount for this year, The Nikkei has learned.

The reduction stems from the California-based company's struggles to solve technical issues with components supporting the model's new face authentication feature.

The X is the first iPhone to adopt an organic light-emitting diode display and do away with the home button. At the beginning of mass production, defects occurred in the bonding process for the OLED panels, and although the problem was largely resolved around July, problems continued in assembly of the face authentication module. Manufacturers were only able to improve the first pass yield -- the number of good units -- toward the end of September.

The iPhone X is currently being produced at a rate of 10 million units per month, but with the sales scheduled to begin on Nov. 3, Apple is likely to only provide 20 million units this year.

Apple is believed to have already started negotiations with other manufacturers over additional production of certain parts, and there is a chance that output volumes could improve rapidly.

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