The iPhone X, set to launch on Nov. 3, was not supposed to be released until next year, according to a senior Apple executive.
Apple took the risk of rolling out the iPhone X and its technology a year earlier than planned. Whether that risk was one worth taking for Apple, however, will be known very soon.
iPhone X Release A Year Earlier Than Planned
In an interview with Mashable that discussed the creation of the iPhone X, Apple's senior vice-president for hardware engineering Dan Riccio revealed that the company originally intended to launch the iPhone X in 2018.
Riccio said that "with a lot of hard work, talent, grit, and determination we were able to deliver them this year."
The decision to launch the iPhone X a full year earlier than intended came with significant risks. Because of the suddenly shortened timetable, Apple was left with no chance to make changes to the smartphone. Riccio said that Apple never planned to embed the fingerprint sensor at the back of the iPhone X or underneath its display, contrary to numerous reports on failed attempts to keep Touch ID on the device. Apple had that much faith on the iPhone X's Face ID, and simply because there was no time to consider such moves.
Riccio revealed that Apple locked in the design of the iPhone X very early, in November last year. The iPhone X, as it stood at the time, is the iPhone X that will very soon be in the hands of customers.
Was The iPhone X Risk Worth It?
The decision to accelerate the development and launch of the iPhone X can be considered a great one, as nearly bezel-less designs on smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Essential Phone, and LG V30 have flooded the market. If Apple maintained its plan to release the iPhone X next year, it can be viewed as being too late in incorporating the design to its devices.
However, with the iPhone X to launch just several weeks after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple is facing a sales problem. Customers are passing up on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, either to buy the cheaper iPhone 7 or to wait for the iPhone X.
In addition, due to technical problems associated with the production of Face ID components, the iPhone X supply is expected to be only half than what Apple expected for this year.
So did Apple make the right call in rushing the iPhone X launch? It remains too early to tell, but one thing is for certain: the iPhone X is a game-changer for Apple, for better or worse.