The Korea Herald reports that Apple has begun leasing equipment, specifically some production equipment, to handle the process of putting together certain parts for the upcoming iPhone 8. The part is the flexible printed circuit board inside the phone, which connects chips to the other individual parts within the device. That includes the screen and the camera system.
The report also states that the purchase was worth “tens of millions of dollars,” and, if it did happen, would certainly be out of the norm for Apple. The company does not own its own production plants, so needing to supply equipment it has purchased on its own, and then lease to a company, isn’t standard operating procedure for the company by any means. The reason behind the move is apparently one supplier backing out of its agreed-to duties in the process.
“According to industry sources on July 13, Apple is leasing the equipment to suppliers to make sure it can get the parts it needs. The reports come amid rumors that the new phone launch may be delayed as it is struggling to secure key parts, such as chips and OLED panels.
“One of the three suppliers recently decided to back out,” a source told ET News on condition of anonymity, saying that the supplier is a Taiwanese manufacturer.”
This is certainly an interesting piece in the puzzle that is the iPhone 8 production story, but of course none of this is confirmed by Apple, and, at this point, and as many times as we’ve heard about hardware delays in the past, it stands to reason to keep that salt shaker handy.