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Fingerprint Sensor Problems Could Delay Launch Of iPhone 8

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 may be delayed or may come out without fingerprint sensing, as component suppliers are facing challenges with a new optic fingerprint.

Pacific Crest Securities’ analysts said in a report Sunday that Apple has a choice either to delay the launch or eliminate it from its next generation iPhone. Apple hasn’t given a launch date for the iPhone 8, but the expectation is that it will come out like previous iterations of the smartphone.

“While this creates some risk of production delays, at this point we do not believe it materially threatens volume through the coming iPhone cycle,” Pacific Crest wrote in the note, according to the report. The investment bank has an overweight rating on Apple and a price target of $150.

“Since fingerprint login is such a widely used feature and 3D sensing is unproven for this purpose, a wholesale elimination of fingerprint sensing in the OLED iPhone would create incremental risk to consumer adoption,” Pacific Crest said.

This isn’t the first time concerns arose that Apple may delay the launch of the iPhone 8. Earlier this month, The Economic Daily News reported the iPhone 8 launch may be pushed back to October or November because it has faced some technical issues on the road to release — suppliers are reportedly having a difficult time perfecting the lamination process for the curved OLED panels and adoption of the 3D-sensing front camera system.

An early fall launch has been typical of the iPhone since the release of the iPhone 5 — prior iPhones went on sale in June. Apple is planning on three phone releases this year, and some industry watchers speculate September will see two more minor upgrades before rolling out with the OLED redesign.

As for what that phone will look like — should it ever make it to market — the iPhone 8 is expected to feature a glass and stainless steel chassis, a 5.8-inch, gently curved, edge-to-edge OLED display, a bezel-less front, a 3D depth-sensing front camera, wireless charging, a virtual Home Button with integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor, facial recognition and much more.

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