A key feature on Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) eagerly awaited new iPhone 8 – the screen-embedded fingerprint sensor – may not be included in the device's release.

Component suppliers to the tech giant are reportedly struggling with a novel optical fingerprint sensor that may either lead to a shortage or a delay of the iPhone 8, reports Investor’s Business Daily citing analysts at Pacific Crest Securities. (See also: These Stocks Will Win in Apple iPhone 8 Supercycle)

The Apple handsets are usually targeted for launch during mid-September, just ahead of the holiday shopping season. The Pacific Crest report builds on top of other similar reports that cite problems faced by the iPhone maker for its next mobile handset.

"At this point, we do not believe Apple's optical fingerprint module provider has firm orders for production, which suggests Apple does not have functionality of the optical fingerprint sensor ready," said Andy Hargreaves, a senior equity research analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a note to investors on Monday provided to AppleInsider. "Additionally, we believe Apple has evaluated Synaptic's optical fingerprint solution, but that it has not been qualified." (See also: Apple Considers Bidding for Big Stake in Toshiba Chip Business)

However, the issue is not expected to affect the production volumes of the upcoming iPhone version, though there may be some risk of manufacturing delays.

Based on the expected discontinuation of the physical home button in favor of a virtual button, the leading phone maker is rumored to be using a sensor that is embedded in the phone’s OLED screen. Another analyst, Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Co., recently claimed that Apple’s efforts to integrate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor into the handset's display screen has met with low success rates. Competitors that have similar high-end devices have opted for sensors that are mounted on the back of the device, instead of as integrated technology, bringing into question the viability of Apple’s ambitious efforts.

Analysts predict that Apple has these options: Ditch the screen embedded Touch ID and opt for 3D facial recognition, follow the industry's current best practice and push the Touch ID to the back of the device as many competitors have done, or opt for delaying manufacturing until a fix for the issue is found.

"While this creates some risk of production delays, at this point we do not believe it materially threatens volume through the coming iPhone cycle," Pacific Crest's Hargreaves wrote.

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