In a press conference on Tuesday, Apple announced several items on their upcoming product roadmap, including the tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X. Like every iPhone before it, the X figures to have a high volume of sales, but industry analysts, as well as Apple itself, are predicting supply chain problems that could hinder overall numbers.
Interestingly enough, a major hangup in the iPhone’s supply chain is with the new OLED screen, whose sole manufacturer is rival electronics company, Samsung. project44’s CEO and Founder, Jett McCandless, predicted these supply chain issues back in May. Essentially, the OLED screen is available in limited quantity, bottle necking the iPhone’s production. Apply believes they will be only be able to produce 10,000 iPhone X units per day. Considering that experts expect somewhere in the realm of 5 million units to be sold in the first week alone, these supply chain and manufacturing constraints could be a major issue.
Heading into the holiday season, the new iPhone is likely to be a major target for consumers, but many will be apprehensive if they don’t know when they’ll be receiving their units.
How Can Apple Improve Their iPhone X Supply Chain?
While certain aspects of the supply chain, like limited OLED screens, are out of their hands, Apple can keep consumers happy by giving them visibility into the product’s future availability. Consumers expect relatively instant gratification when they order something, but for major purchases like smartphones, they’re willing to wait a little bit longer. What they’re not as willing to do, is wait for an undetermined amount of time.
With supply chain visibility and automation, Apple can provide their consumers with an accurate time frame, so that they’ll know when to expect their phones. Automation technology provides a range of benefits to retailers and manufacturers. The more companies begin to use technology that provides them with real-time insights, the fewer supply chain issues they will experience, and the more units they’ll be able to move in periods of high demand.