The iPhone X is likely to prove to be one of the more difficult-to-find smartphones in recent memory.
In a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors, frequent Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says demand for the iPhone X will far outstrip supply.
“We believe the fullscreen design and facial recognition features will drive replacement demand for the iPhone X,” writes Kuo in his note to investors. “However, due to supply constraints, we expect market demand won’t be fully met before 1H18.”
In other words, the iPhone X will be regularly out of stock at most retail locations until the middle of 2018.
Besides supply constraints, Kuo says Apple is attempting to avoid the iPhone X cannibalizing sales of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The company is hoping less committed consumers will buy the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus instead of waiting another five weeks to pre-order the iPhone X.
Kuo ends his note by saying he expects Apple to ship as many as 40 million iPhone X units before the end of its fiscal year, and as many as 90 million units in 2018.