Apple's 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, which will be launched next month, starts at $699 to $749, according to industry analysts at TrendForce. This pricing strategy is partly due to lower-than-expected sales of Apple's iPhone models last year, and partly to competition from Chinese brands that have expanded their market share by offering high-performance devices at affordable prices.
Previous rumors said Apple was expected to launch three new iPhones in 2018, including 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED models and a lower-priced 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. All three models will remove physical Home keys and switch to Face IDs, but TrendForce expects the cheaper "economic" LCD models to be Apple's main device in terms of production share.
The upgrades from the three models will make the new iPhone more competitive with Android smartphones, the report said. On the other hand, the LCD model, which is already very close to last year's iPhone 8 Plus, will be Apple's main product this year, accounting for about 50% of the new iPhone line. Apple will adjust the price of this model to meet market expectations and further expand its market share. Considering the cost reduction, TrendForce estimates that the LCD model will start at around $699 to $749.
As for the new OLED iPhone, TrendForce expects the 5.8-inch model to start at a relatively low price of $899 to $949, compared with the current generation of the iPhone X, which starts at $999. Because the specifications of the two phones are similar, they will enter the "end of life" stage. Meanwhile, the upcoming 6.5-inch model will be aimed at "high-end business," starting at $999.
TrendForce thinks,Apple may provide 512GB storage options for OLED models.. In addition,The new iPhone will also include Apple Pencil support, but it's not clear whether this support is solely related to OLED models.Guo Mingli, a prominent Apple analyst, has previously said that it is possible to support Apple Pencil for future iPhone models, but it believes that this support will not appear on the iPhone until 2019 at the earliest.
Apple is said to have been bargaining with supply chain partners to reduce the cost of components, especially those used in earlier generations of the iPhone. That view echoes earlier reports that Apple wanted Samsung to lower the price of OLED displays to reduce the cost of making current and future iPhone X models.
Lower prices for display screens and other components will help Apple reduce the cost of materials for new models, which could benefit consumers. (Amit Daryanani), capital markets analyst at Royal Bank of Canada, said the starting price of the second-generation iPhone X would fall from $999 to $899, a view consistent with TrendForce's forecast.
According to TrendForce's estimates, the three new iPhones will produce between 83 million and 88 million units this year, which could account for a larger share of Apple's annual iPhone sales than the three models released last year. Meanwhile, due to the saturation of the smartphone market and the prolongation of the global mobile phone replacement cycle, iPhone sales are expected to be flat or to grow slightly by 2% to 3% in 2018.
Finally, TrendForce said the two OLED models had been assembled since the end of July, while the LCD models were scheduled for assembly in mid-September. If there is no accident, Apple Corp will launch the three new iPhone at the autumn new product conference in September.