iPhone 8 Plus render
iPhone 8 Plus render shows what the new handset might look likeConceptsiPhone YouTube

Will the new iPhone be delayed or not? It's a question which pops up every year without fail, but is almost impossible to answer fully. For 2016 the iPhone 7 Plus, especially in the new Jet Black colour option, was delayed for over a month in some cases – and now for 2017 the same could be true of the iPhone 8.

For its 10th year, Apple is expected to give the iPhone a major facelift in 2017. As well as launching updated versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (likely called the 7S and 7S Plus), Apple is tipped to be preparing an all-new model. It is claimed this phone will have a large, curved screen with almost no bezels, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

But, unfortunately, it is this all-new iPhone which will be difficult to buy on launch day. With its new design and large 5.8in display, it could also be the most popular among consumers. Just as how the iPhone 7 Plus in its new Jet Black colour was near-impossible to find in stock on release day in 2017, the same is expected to be true of the new model – and stock shortages could stretch from September all the way to Christmas.

A new research note written by Apple analyst Brian White and published by MacRumors states: "Our contact strongly believes the 5.8in iPhone 8 will be delayed by several weeks due to challenges around the 3D sensing technology, but still in time for the December holidays. This is not the first time that we've heard about a potential delay with a new iPhone; however, our contact was so emphatic about the delay that we are taking this data point more seriously."

But it is still early days for the iPhone 8, which is yet to be seen in the flesh by any of the usual smartphone leakers and rumour mills. White adds: "Since it is only April, this situation could improve. Essentially, our contact believes customers will be able to pre-order the new 5.8in iPhone 8 along with the new 4.7in and 5.5in iPhones in September; however, the 5.8in iPhone 8 will not be available for delivery until several weeks later."

As for the "3D sensing technology" blamed for causing the delays, this is believed to be a new front-facing camera. By combining the existing camera with an infrared transmitter and receiver, the new iPhone is said to offer iris and facial recognition as an alternative to using a PIN, password or fingerprint to unlock the handset.