Chinese blog Mic Gadget is saying that everyone else has Apple’s 2017 iPhone plans wrong, claiming that their “friends from Foxconn” shared news that the company is planning to release just two iPhone 8 models and no iPhone 7s or 7s Plus. The rumor is a fairly shaky one since the source has no track record of accurate leaks and the report seems based on news that “Foxconn will begin to receive the first deliveries of the material for packing the goods in the last week of the June.” But even though this report is the outlier in the current swirl of rumors, this entire iPhone cycle is different than Apple’s usual annual fall release schedule. Today Nikkei added more support to the growing consensus that the iPhone 8 may not launch until late October, claiming that issues with the OLED displays, concerns over the new smaller printed circuit boards and overheating problems with the wireless charging modules are pushing back production schedules.
While we’re not putting too much stock in Mic Gadget’s prediction at this point, given the range of problems reported in the iPhone 8’s production, it’s impossible to tell whether Apple could settle for producing two iPhones instead of three (or four) or even delay the iPhone 8’s launch until spring. Even though that doesn’t fit into Apple’s recent model, neither does releasing two totally different iPhone models simultaneously, and the move is far from unprecedented. Apple released the off-cycle iPhone SE last March, and the third-generation iPad was released in March 2012, only to see the fourth-generation iPad debut in October 2012.