iPhone 8 delays may cause Apple fans to jump ship

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iPhone 8 render
How long will you wait for iPhone 8?
Photo: Quinton Theron

Apple fans will turn to other smartphone makers if the iPhone 8’s shipping delay is too lengthy. That’s according to one Bernstein analyst, who believes the device needs to be readily available for the holiday season.

iPhone fans have been waiting years for next week’s refresh. Since the introduction of iPhone 6, the device has become somewhat boring, with only incremental changes each year. But for the handset’s tenth anniversary, Apple is planning something special.

iPhone 8 is expected to deliver an edge-to-edge OLED display in an all-new glass design. It will bring Apple’s latest processor, fancy new cameras, and features like advanced facial recognition and wireless charging. It will make the iPhone incredibly exciting again.

But is that enough to keep you hanging on if there’s a lengthy wait for shipping? Not according to Bernstein analyst Tony Sacconaghi, who believes Apple fans will look to other smartphone makers and sales will drop if the device isn’t easy to get hold of by the holidays.

“If the phone is materially constrained once we hit the holiday season, post-October 15, then it’s worrisome,” Sacconaghi told CNBC during Fast Money. “If [it’s] delayed and consumers feel they won’t get it until 2018, you run the risk that people will look to other devices.”

Sacconaghi added that phones are hot sellers during the holiday season, when people have the free time to shop for new devices and wireless plans. If Apple cannot serve them, they’ll go elsewhere, Sacconaghi warns.

We have to disagree. iPhone 8 will be worth waiting for, and most users would rather hold onto their existing device for another month or two than switch to a different device with a completely different operating system and spend even longer learning how to use it.

What’s more, we’re used to waiting for Apple products after launch. If you don’t get your order in within minutes when pre-orders go live, it’s typical that you’ll be waiting six weeks or more for delivery. Customers will be expecting a similar scenario for iPhone 8.

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