A new report coming from hit-and-miss prediction site DigiTimes suggests that a number of big device manufacturers are waiting to see exactly what Apple does with its next-generation flagship smartphone, iPhone 8, before they commit to new long-term and expensive supply contracts with their providers.
The theory behind the stalling is that those companies are waiting to see exactly what Apple introduces with iPhone 8 in terms of features and revolutionary technology improvements to see if there is anything worth replicating in their own hardware offerings.
The report is citing supply chain sources who are suggesting that orders for chips to be used in Apple’s new iPhone range are dramatically picking up, which would suggest that the Cupertino-based giant is preparing itself to mass produce all of the 2017 iPhone models. Bizarrely, the same report is suggesting that orders from other manufacturers have coincidentally dropped at the same time, which has led to the inevitable conclusion that other companies are taking a more cautious approach and waiting to see what Apple is planning on doing with iPhone 8.
Chip orders from the non-Apple camp should have picked up starting April and grown through August, but orders seem to have been pushed back in 2017 as companies adopt a wait-and-see approach before the launch of Apple’s upcoming iPhones which they believe will come with revolutionary features.
If the theory behind the drop-off is accurate, then it makes perfect sense from a competitor perspective, even though it shows a distinct lack of innovation on their part. However, it’s not exactly great news for companies like MediaTek and HiSilicon who have apparently been the worst hit by this reluctance to commit to new long-term contracts.
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for companies to try and replicate either the aesthetic design of new iPhones or some of the underlying features that make Apple’s hardware so popular. It is worth taking this report with a pinch of salt, but it does also raise excitement levels knowing that Apple is well and truly in the process of mass-manufacturing the new iPhone ahead of a potential September announcement and launch.
Let’s hope we don’t see a wave of Android-based iPhone 8 clones hitting the market shortly after.
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