Analyst predicts 3 big-screen iPhones with Face ID in 2018
Apple released two base models of the iPhone in 2017 — the iPhone 8/8 Plus and the iPhone X — which may have been a questionable strategy. The iPhone 8 has reportedly struggled in the market in the shadow of iPhone X, which may lead Apple to go back to selling just a single base model in 2018.
However, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will repeat itself and offer three new iPhone models in 2018, in a note he sent to investors that was obtained by 9to5Mac.
Kuo believes the company will focus on delivering larger screens and more diverse price points. He also predicts Apple will finally drop the design profile it debuted with the iPhone 6 in 2014, instead offering edge-to-edge displays and the new TrueDepth camera system (which enables Face ID) on all of its devices.
The three iPhones would include an updated version of iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen with 458 pixels per inch (ppi) as well as a new “Plus” variant with a 6.5-inch, 500-ppi display. The wild card would be a 6.1-inch model with a 330-ppi screen made using Japan Display’s new curveable Full-Active LCD panels, in which Apple was rumored to have taken interest.
The 6.1-inch iPhone would be cheaper than the other two models, giving Apple a chance to offer consumers the edge-to-edge display design and TrueDepth camera tech at a lower price than the premium OLED models. Kuo thinks the company could sell the new LCD device somewhere between $649 to $749 — comparable to the cost of the iPhone 8. He didn’t give price estimates for the other two phones.
Kuo believes the new strategy could really pay off for Apple, kicking off the much-ballyhooed “super cycle” of sales many analysts believed would come this year with the release of the iPhone X. Next year Apple will theoretically be better prepared to come to market (the iPhone X release was reportedly hampered with feature compromises and OLED shortages), leading Kuo to predict Apple will sell 120 million iPhones in the back half of 2018, which would be 40 million more devices than the 80 million Apple is projected to ship this year.