Apple might restart iPhone X production in ‘certain markets’

THE IPHONE X, Apple’s 10th-anniversary smartphone is no more. Following the unveiling of the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, the firm removed the 2017 flagship from its website – along with the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S

While Apple is no longer offering the iPhone X, it’s still available to buy via a number of UK retailers and operators. We’ve rounded up the best deals, along with the latest news, below.  

Release date
Pre-orders for the iPhone X began on 27 October, before it started shipping on 3 November. It was discontinued on 12 September 2018.

Price
Carphone Warehouse, naturally, is offering the iPhone X and is flogging the phone on tariffs with EE, iD, O2 and Vodafone. Pricing starts at £56 per month with a £129.99 upfront cost, an O2 tariff that comes with 30GB monthly data.

Over on the EE website, the iPhone X is available on eight different tariffs. The cheapest comes in at £63 (!) a month with a £100 upfront cost, a tariff that bags you 4GB data. 

O2 is currently selling the iPhone X from an oddly-specific £55.51 per month, a contract that comes with a £59.99 upfront cost and 15GB bundled monthly data. 

Sky Mobile is flogging the iPhone X for £34 a month, with a number of data tariffs available. An extra £6 a month will get you 2GB monthly data, while an extra £10 will get you 10GB. 

Three has dropped its pricing for the iPhone X and is offering the now-defunct Apple flagship from £45 per month with a £99 upfront cost.

Vodafone’s iPhone X tariffs start at £54 per month with a £249 upfront cost, a tariff that comes with 1GB data.   

Virgin Mobile appears to offer the cheapest iPhone X tariffs available. Contracts start at £39 per month with no upfront cost, which gets you 1,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB data per month.

Latest news
22/11/18: 
Amid chatter that Apple’s current crop of iPhones aren’t selling too well, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple might restart production of its once-defunct iPhone X in ‘certain markets’. The same report claims that  Apple is set to lower prices of the iPhone XR in Japan by offering subsidies to Japanese carriers, with the cuts set to go into effect next week. 

15/11/18: An iPhone X handset ‘exploded’ after being upgraded to iOS 12.1. As reported by Gadgets360, iDevice owner Rahel Mohamad claims his 10-month-old smartphone started “emitting smoke” and eventually exploded moments after iOS 12.1 was installed. 

“This year early January I bought the iPhone and have been using it normally.” Mohamad said, adding that after installing the software update “dark grey smoke started coming from the phone.”

“The update was completed and as soon as the phone turned on it started to smoke and caught fire,” he said. 

Mohamad adds that he was using the bundled Apple charger and cable to charge the phone, though notes that the explosion took place after it was removed from charge.

Apple has yet to officially comment, but on Twitter stated that this is “definitely not expected behaviour.” It has asked Mohamad to send off his device for investigation. 

13/9/18: Apple has killed off the iPhone X, making it the most short-lived iDevice of all time. The move is hardly surprising given the newly-announced iPhone XR (below), with its 5.8in OLED screen and £999 starting price, essentially replaces it. 

The firm has also removed the iPhone SE and 6S from its website, marking the end of iPhones with headphone jacks. It’s now offering the iPhone 7 as its ‘entry-level’ offering, reducing its starting price to £449 in the UK

10/8/18: The iPhone X has outperformed Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 9, touted as the ‘world’s most powerful smartphone, in a number of benchmarking tests. 

Tom’s Guide, which pitted the iPhone X against the 6.4in flagsip using a number of benchmarking tools, reports that Apple’s” year-old flagship “considerably” outperformed Samsungs 6GB Note 9 model. 

On Geekbench, the iPhone X scored of 10,357, while the Galaxy Note 9 came in at 8,876. However, the site notes that the new flagship performed “considerably better” than last year’s Note 8. 

In the Slingshot Extreme benchmark test, described by Tom’s Guide as “one of the most demanding graphics test in 3DMark’s mobile arsenal’  the Galaxy Note 9 was again outperformed. The iPhone X came in with a score of 4,994 compared to the Note 9’s 4,639.

24/4/18: Five of Apple’s key manufacturing suppliers have confirmed that the iPhone X isn’t meeting expectations, Bloomberg reports, revealing that demand for the smartphone has “plummeted” since the handset made its debut last year. Hai Precision Industry Co, Pegatron Corp and three other Apple suppliers have noted a sharp slowdown in the latter part of the first quarter, and Mia Huang, an analyst at Taipei-based research firm Trendforce, estimates that shipments have fallen as much as 50 per cent.

19/2/18: Amid rumours that Apple is slashing iPhone X production for the current quarter, Nikkei Asian Review reports that the decision has left Samsung scrambling to find new OLED customers. 

Nikkei, which claims that iPhone X production is expected to drop by half in the first three months of 2018 due to ‘sluggish’ sales, says that Samsung had ramped up OLED production to meet demand for Apple’s flagship iPhone. Samsung is now “saddled with excess production capacity”, according to the report, and is “increasingly selling OLED panels to outside clients.”

7/2/18: Apple has said that its flagship iPhone X, along with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, won’t be affected by its performance throttling ‘feature’ due to ‘hardware updates’ that allow for a better performance management system.

In a letter sent to Senator John Thune, who had asked Apple whether it will “release a similar software update feature to throttle back processing performance for newer phone models”, the firm said that the aforementioned hardware updates included with more-recent iPhones “allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown.”

The firm also noted that is “considering” offering rebates to those customers who paid full price for battery replacements.

29/1/18: Just days after rumours claimed that Apple could be discontinuing the iPhone X later this year, Nikkei is reporting that the firm will halve its iPhone X production target for the first quarter to around 20 million units. This decision has been fueled by slower-than-expected holiday sales in the UK, Europe and the US, according to the report.

23/1/18: Apple plans to discontinue the first-gen iPhone X later this year, according to KGI analyst Ming Chi-Kuo. He claims that the handset will be binned once the company introduces its three-tier 2018 iPhone lineup later this year, as offering last year’s iPhone X at a discounted price could into sales of the firm’s new devices.

Kuo said: “iPhone X would hurt product brand value & lineup of 2H18 new models if it continues to sell at a lower price after 2H18 new models launch:

“Lowering iPhone X’s price after the 2H18 new models launch would be a negative to product brand value given 3D sensing and OLED display are features of the new high-price model. Additionally, to sell iPhone X at a lower price may have a negative impact on shipments of the new 6.1in LCD iPhone in 2H18. Thus, we estimate iPhone X will reach end-of-life (EOL) around the middle of 2018.”

2/1/18: A report via Digitimes (we know, take this with a pinch of salt) claims that Apple could be planning to drop the price of the iPhone X early this year due to ‘lacklustre’ holiday demand. The report claims that iPhone X sales in Singapore, Taiwan and the US as not as strong as expected, which could force Apple to slash the price of the £1,000 smartphone ahead of the release of its next-gen model.

14/12/17: According to MixPanel data seen by Business Insider, the iPhone X is already outselling its cheaper iPhone 8 siblings. It claims that iPhone X adoption is currently at 4.76 per cent, while the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 are lagging behind at 3.59 per cent and 2.78 per cent, respectively.

6/12/17: US mag Consumer Reportswhich recently stopped recommending Microsoft’s “unreliable” Surface devices –   has dealt a blow to Apple after it concluded that the firm’s iPhone X isn’t as good as Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphones. The publication has given the Galaxy S8 an overall score of 81 out of 100, while the iPhone X has been slapped with an overall score of 80 due to its lack of durability compared to the iPhone 8 and the lack of ‘familiar’home button.

27/11/17: The improved availability of the iPhone X is due to manufacturers fixing production woes and not a lack of interest in Apple’s new smartphone, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note, he said that has said that suppliers have started producing key components much faster, allowing Apple to offer the iPhone X within a week of ordering. According to the note, Foxconn’s production is now at 450,000-550,000 units per day compared to just 50,000-150,000 a month or two ago.

17/11/17: Apple has released iOS 11.2 to fix the cold weather screen responsiveness issue plaguing iPhone X handsets. The firm said in a statement on Thursday: “We are aware of instances where the iPhone X screen will become temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid change to a cold environment. After several seconds the screen will become fully responsive again. This will be addressed in an upcoming software update.”

The update also “addresses an issue that could cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with iPhone X.”

14/11/17: If you’re thinking about getting an iPhone X but aren’t too keen on the new ‘notch’, an app called Notch Remover has just received App Store approval. Despite Apple having urged devs to embrace the notch, the firm has given the thumbs up to the app, which makes the notch invisible by placing a black bar across the top of images that can then be set as your iPhone’s wallpaper. 

9/11/17: The cost of materials for Apple’s iPhone X comes in at $370 (around £280), according to engineers at IHS market who were quick to take the smartphone to pieces. They claim, for example, that the iPhone X’s TrueDepth 3D sensor system costs $16.70, while the phone’s OLED screen, together with the cover glass and the Force Touch sensor, costs $110.

8/11/17:  The iPhone X has the best display in the world, according to DisplayMate. The smartphone screen specialist carried out a bunch of tests, measuring metrics such as colour accuracy, brightness, reflectance and viewing angles, at the end of which the firm crowned the iPhone X’s Super Retina OLED display with its highest-ever grade (A+). trumping the mark given to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.

7/11/17: Apple’s iPhone X has quickly been branded the firm’s most breakable smartphone yet. Insurance outfit SquareTrade lined up a series of durability tests for the handset and found that after the first drop test, the iPhone X shattered and became unresponsive, while Face ID also stopped working completely. The smartphone continued to fail the firm’s subsequent drop tests, but managed to pass a water dunk test, surviving 30 minutes under five feet of water. 

6/11/17: Apple has updated its iPhone X support page to warn buyers that the handset’s OLED display has the potential to suffer from “slight shifts in colour and hue” when viewing the screen off-angle, along with “image persistence”, or “burn in”. The firm explains that these are normal characteristics of OLED tech, despite being two of the most complained-about issues among owners of Google’s new Pixel 2 XL. 

3/11/17: The iPhone X today went on sale across the globe, as was met with large queues as ‘thousands’ lined-up to buy the £1,000 smartphone. In the US, some reportedly fought outside the San Francisco Apple Store to figure out who was first in line, while here in the UK, as the British do, hundreds patiently queued outside Apple’s flagship store on Regent Street, with one buyer having been waiting since Tuesday. 

30/10/17: Some who managed to bag themselves an iPhone X pre-order before shipping times slipped have spotted an opportunity and taken to eBay to flog their Apple handset. Here in the UK, one buyer is attempting to sell his £999 £64GB iPhone X for, er, £15,000, with another looking for £10,000 for his iPhone X pre-order on Vodafone. 

26/10/17: Apple has confirmed that iPhone X pre-orders will begin at 8.01am on Friday, and is advising buyers that the quickest way to order will be via it’s official Apple Store app.

25/10/17: Apple has reportedly told suppliers to reduce the accuracy of the phone’s flagship Face ID system in order to speed up production times. “People familiar with the situation” have said that although the downgrading of the feature is only slight, it won’t be as good as the original specs, despite supplier Foxconn being given a two year lead time. “It’s an aggressive design,” the source said, “and it’s a very aggressive schedule.”

20/10/17: Apple’s iPhone X production woes are coming to an end, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note, seen by Apple Insider, Kuo claims that Apple’s assembly yield rate for iPhone X has stabilised, adding that he expects the company to stockpile between 2 to 3 million units in before the device ships on 3 November. Kuo believes that production will ramp up in November, with shipments to grow rapidly in the first quarter of 2018. 

18/10/17: Apple has responded to a letter from Senator Al Franken, who raised concerns about the implications of Apple’s new Face ID feature, in particular, customer security, third-party access to data and whether the tech could recognise a diverse set of faces. In its response, Apple says that that the chance of a random person unlocking your phone is one in a million (in comparison to one in 500,000 for Touch ID), adding that after five unsuccessful scans, a passcode is required to access your iPhone.

13/10/17: The iPhone X comes with a new feature that will ensure nobody snoops on your notifications. Phone Arena reports that the phone will only show lock screen notifications with content when it knows that you are the one looking at the phone. If it’s someone else, they will only see the notification source. This feature will also be coming to older devices, but given their lack of Face ID, users can choose for their iPhone to only show notifications with content once it has been unlocked.

9/10/17: Ming-Chi Kuo has re-affirmed previous comments that Apple will be lacking iPhone X stock in 2017 and said in a note that the so-called ‘supercycle’ – which refers to a large number of existing iPhone users upgrading – won’t begin until next year. 

5/10/17: iDrop News has looked into its crystal ball and imagined what the future of the iPhone X might hold. A plus-sized model is the answer, and the website has shown off what this might look like in renders (below). Er, unsurprisingly, it looks like the iPhone X but bigger, and houses the same irritating notch at the top of the display. According to rumours, Apple will launch at least two OLED iPhones next year, measuring in at 5.85in and 6.46in, respectively.

3/10/17: Ming-Chi Kuo can’t get enough of talking about the iPhone X, and has said in a new research note that the smartphone’s TrueDepth camera system is way ahead of the Android competition and likely will estimates that it will take rivals ‘1.5-2.5 years’ to catch up. However, production issues persist, and Kuo has lowered his estimates of iPhone X shipments in 2017 to 30-35 million units from a previous estimate of 40 million.

2/10/17: Apple has released an environmental report bigging up the green credentials of its iPhone X. For example, it boasts that the smartphone’s materials are free from the likes of arsenic, mercury and PVC, and notes that 100 per cent of packaging fibres “are sourced from responsibly managed forests, bamboo, waste sugarcane, or recycled paper.” The company calculates that the total estimated greenhouse gas emissions for the iPhone X over its entire lifecycle are 79kg CO2e, of which 80 per cent is during production, 17 per cent in use, 2 per cent transport and 1 per cent recycling.

29/9/17: Punters after an iPhone X might not be able to find stock until “January at the earliest”, according to analyst Gene Munster. This is due to production hold-ups, which earlier this week were blamed on Apple’s ‘complex’ camera system used for Face ID authentication. Jan Dawson, an analyst at Jackdaw Research, predicts that iPhone X stock won’t to be able to meet demand until “sometime in the first quarter”. 

28/9/17: Apple has released more details about the iPhone X’s Face ID functionality in a bid to address some of the privacy concerns surrounding the face-scanning tech. For example, the firm points out that information collected by Face ID – including infrared images of your mug – won’t be stored on your device, and notes that images are also cropped to avoid grabbing background info. Apple also points out several instances when Face ID won’t work, including when your phone has just been switched on, where there have been five unsuccessful attempts to match a face or if you initiate the Emergency SOS feature. 

27/9/17: Apple’s TrueDepth camera system, used for face recognition on the iPhone X, could be holding up production. So says respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who notes that the “complex” system is the reason Apple is struggling to achieve mass production, and likely the reason the device will be in short supply until next year.

Kuo said, via MacRumours: “TrueDepth camera may be main production bottleneck of iPhone X ramp. The 3D sensing (TrueDepth camera) on iPhone X is composed of a structured-light system, time-of-flight system and a front-facing camera, which represents a far more complex structure than those of rivals. It will, therefore, be harder to achieve mass production. While we project iPhone X will see output ramp up meaningfully in mid/ late October, tight supply may only start to ease in 1H18F due to strong demand.”

21/9/17: The iPhone X could face further delays, according to Raymond James chip analyst Christopher Caso. He writes the production of the handset likely hasn’t yet begun, and notes that it could be hit by further production delays. Caso said: “While our checks are ongoing, initial feedback from our meetings suggests that final production of iPhone X has not yet begun, with production expected to commence in mid-October. That production start is about a month later when compared to expectations a month ago, and about two months later than expectations at the end of June.”

20/9/17: While many have bemoaned the iPhone X’s £999 price-tag, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that it’s a “value price” based on the technology inside the phone. Speaking on Good Morning America this week, Cook said: “Most people are now paying for phones over long periods of time, and so very few people will pay the price tag of the phone initially. Also most people actually trade in their current phone, and so that reduces the price further, and some carriers even throw in subsidies and discounts.” Er. 

19/9/17: KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple likely won’t be able to meet demand for the iPhone X until next year, with supply set to be “limited” in 2017. In a note seen by MacRumours, Kuo said: “Due to supply constraints, we expect market demand won’t be fully met before 1H18. We revise down our forecast for 2017F iPhone X shipments from 45-50 million to around 40 million units, but we, therefore, revise up our 2018 iPhone X shipment estimate to 80-90 million units.”

“After failing a number of times, because they weren’t Craig [Federighi], the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode.”

12/9/17: The iPhone X is official and is Apple’s first smartphone to pack an edge-to-edge screen, but unfortunately, rumours of the notch cut out at the top of the screen were also on the money. 

The handset’s so-called ‘Super Retina’ OLED display measures in at 5.8 and features a 2436×1125 resolution, making it the highest resolution iPhone to date. It also features Apple’s True Tone display tech and, much like the new Apple TV, supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision content.

This screen sits inside a new ‘all-glass’ chassis, similar to that seen on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. While you’ll probably have to put it in a case to prevent shattering, Apple claims this is the most durable glass to feature on a smartphone yet.

There’s also the same A11 Bionic processor under the hood. This six-core CPU is divided into two low-performance cores and four high-performance cores, with the regular cores being 25 per cent faster than the previous A10 chip, and the high-performance cores being up to 75 per cent faster than the A10 SoC. It also comes paired with Apple’s first homegrown GPU, which offers 30 per cent more performance than the A10.

Naturally, given the phone’s all-screen front, there’s no physical home button. This means that Apple, as expected, has dumped Touch ID functionality, replacing it with ‘Face ID’ face recognition technology.

Related: The pricing of the iPhone X is a threat to the mobile industry

This is enabled by a bunch of sensors on the front of the phone, including a 7MP ‘TrueDepth’ camera, and the A11 chip’s built-in neural engine, and Apple claims that it’ll work even in dark conditions and if you change your appearance. It’s pretty secure too, according to the firm, which claims that there’s a ‘one in a million’ chance of somebody, er, spoofing your face.

Apple has also introduced a new swiping up gesture to go ‘home’ on the iPhone, which is also used for multitasking on the iPhone X. The lock button on the side of the handset can now be used to fire up Siri. 

As expected, on the rear of the iPhone sits a vertically-aligned 12MP dual camera, comprising of dual telephoto and wide-angle lenses. There’s also a new Portrait Lighting mode for taking selfies, and optical image stablisation built-in.

Wireless charging is included, with the iPhone X supporting the same Qi wireless charging standard as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which means customers will be able to use third-party charging accessories. Apple gave a sneak peak at, naturally, its own AirPower wireless charging mat which will be coming next year.

There’s also been a boost to battery life, with Apple claiming two hours more battery life than the iPhone 7 before it.

Oh, yeah, and there’s Animoji. What a time to be alive.

The iPhone X, or 10, whatever, will be available in Space Grey and Silver. 

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