How Apple Hurts its Enemies by Launching iPhone 8 Late

Apple's other advantage

A Corning employee creates the cover glass found on iOS devices.

With the smartphone industry slumping while it waits on iPhone 8, later is better for Apple. And right now we can see a range of different strategies it is about to put in place to set the stage for iPhone’s future.

Late is good

As thoughts move forward to iPhone 8, it is interesting to note that with the exception of Apple the entire smartphone industry has stopped purchasing new processors while they wait to take a look at the new iDevice.

This implies manufacturers will hold off on new product launches until they see what the new Apple range actually is, what features are available, and how much they cost…

Indeed, in this context the later Apple leaves it before announcing its new device, the better, as competitors won’t want to introduce anything new until they know what they are up against.

That itself may mean that this Holiday shopping season all we’ll have that’s new and impressive will be Apple smartphones, some Samsung thing, and a bunch of discounts on existing kit.

Meanwhile, of course, we estimate a huge percentage of the existing iPhone user base may be in the market for an upgrade this season.

Trust is a currency

Apple wants to put trust at the center of all its connections.

This means ensuring its customers can trust the company with their privacy; ensuring its suppliers meet increasingly tough demands; ensuring it works with trusted media; closing down internal leaks where possible; and cutting out the people who have done bad to the firm.

You can’t have it both ways.

You can’t describe yourself as a ‘fast follower’ on the one hand and then deny that you have been competing with a company that also happens to be your biggest customer. The relationship between Apple and Samsung can at best be described as “complicated”.

Apple still uses Samsung to manufacture some product components. Samsung has historically made three key iPhone components for Apple: processors, memory, and displays.

Apple has already put much of its processor manufacturing over to TSMC, is prepared to purchase memory from anyone who can make it at good enough quality – now it looks like it wants to reduce its reliance on Samsung even just a little bit more: it is developing its own OLED display R&D. The center will develop next-generation display manufacturing technologies.

How interesting.

Foxconn in the frame

You’d imagine setting up an R&D center for future display tech would be a key moment for Apple.

It is – but a fresh Wall Street Journal report claims Foxconn is looking to build its own display manufacturing plant in the U.S., in Wisconsin. Earlier this year we heard the plant could create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. We may learn more about its plans later this week.

How many of these jobs will be dedicated to manufacturing advanced OLED displays for use in Apple products in two years?

That is hard to imagine, but you can rest assured that every Apple-focused OLED production line that Foxconn sets up in the USA will generate yet another sigh of regret among shareholders at other display manufacturing firms, particularly Samung.

How do you think this is gonna go?

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Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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