I can confirm the iPhone 8 looks stunning, I can also confirm it feels brilliant in-hand. But what I cannot confirm and what continues to divide my sources is whether Apple AAPL -0.88%

Apple

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As of 09/25/2017, 04:37pm EDT

has a nasty surprise in store for potential iPhone 8 owners…

As it stands most of my sources believe Touch ID will not feature on the iPhone 8 (putting huge pressure on ‘Face ID’), despite suggestions it could be hidden in a curiously enlarged power button. This is also the position backed in a new report from tech-focused equity specialists BlueFin Research Partners.

Nodus and Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8 will have an enlarged power button, but it is not expected to feature Touch ID

“It is our belief at this time that fingerprint sensing will NOT [caps theirs] be included at launch”, states BlueFin. Though it concedes “We are still grappling with the touch ID/fingerprint sensing situation as we continue to uncover mixed messaging.”

BlueFin even goes so far as to theorise that Touch ID could be included but disabled at launch and unlocked by a software update in future. Apple has precedent for this with the late arrival of Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus via an iOS upgrade, but that is not on remotely the same scale as Touch ID.

Interestingly the whole Touch ID dilemma is also thought to be at the heart of significant iPhone 8 production delays which will see only a few million units available in its first month on sale. Touch ID was meant to be integrated under the new OLED display, but Apple hasn’t managed this (just like Samsung failed with both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8) and further OLED yield issues have killed initial supply.

And yet BlueFin does deliver good news on this front.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8’s new OLED display has a cut-out ‘notch’ which can clearly be seen in this prototype

The company says that after the initial bottleneck is overcome, there will be a rapid ramp up of production to 44M iPhone 8 units in Apple’s December-ending Q1 with 30M units planned for each subsequent quarter.

This would be record levels of stock for a single model. And combined with sales of the more incremental iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, which will launch alongside it, BlueFin states “build plans for the balance of 2017 and for all of 2018 are at record levels”.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8 (left) beside iPhone 7 (right) – a new vertical dual rear camera will be a feature highlight

Of course the iPhone 8 – despite the central role of its dramatically enlarged OLED panel – is much more than a headline grabbing screen. Fast charging, wireless charging and a new vertically aligned rear dual camera are all coming as well as much much more.

There will also be an eye watering price tag but, given the initial iPhone 8 shortages, I suspect millions will just hope for the chance to buy it at list price as auction prices will be horrendous.