A new report claims to dish the dirt on Apple’s plans for its 2018 iPhone line-up, expected to arrive as usual around September time. According to the details, Apple will introduce an iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Plus as successor models to the iPhone X, reinstating the “s” iteration update moniker. In additon, there will be a “budget” model (relatively speaking, expect it to still be pricey) dubbed the iPhone 9.
The report also says they will ALL feature Face ID. Yup, regardless of price point, Apple is going all-in with its 3D face scanning hardware, implying that the whole range will ditch fingerprint scanners from now on and rely on the new TrueDepth facial recognition tech instead. This also means all the handsets will have the display “notch” to house the sensors. LG Innotek will be the supplier of 3D face scanning modules for Apple inside 2018.
It’s thought that while the iPhone Xs models will have edge-to-edge OLED displays, the iPhone 9 will also be edge-to-edge, but with an LCD panel.
A related report from analytics firm Atherton Research claims that in 2019 Apple will aim to shrink the display notch – it says current R&D is already working on making smaller TrueDepth face scanner sensors, so by late 2019 Apple will be able to make the notch housing smaller too.
The report goes on to suggest that Apple may reintroduce a fingerprint scanner at that stage, in addition to the face scanning tech, as recent breakthroughs in in-display fingerprint scanners mean one could easily be added back in for more diverse functionality.
DigiTimes senior analyst, Luke Lin, has also published his own findings on the subject of 2018’s iPhone line-up. According to Lin, the direct successor of the iPhone X will be the “cheapest” model. It’ll keep an OLED display and will be more or less the same size at around 5.8in. Allegedly Apple has listened to the multiple surveys which have shown the iPhone X’s price is offputting, and has reduced the bill-of-materials for the successor by 10%.
There will be a larger and slightly more expensive model, with a 6.1in display, however, curiously it’ll feature LCD screen tech instead of OLED, but it may also pack more RAM.
The most expensive of the three new devices will also feature an OLED screen though, it’ll measure 6.45in on the diagonal and the presence or absence of a display notch isn’t mentioned at all.
According to analysts at RBC, of the three new iPhone models in late 2018 the “affordable” model will retail for around $700 (yeah, real cheap!). The firm believes this model will give Apple the biggest chunk of sales at between 35-50%. The new edition iPhone X will apparently be cheaper than the current one, to the tune of $899, while the larger iPhone X Plus will have a starting RRP of $999. The report says the reduced price of the regular iPhone X will “lower the average ASP’s,” – that’s Average Sale Price – but would instead “drive a stronger unit growth.” Essentially that would mean Apple is being sensible in the light of its current low iPhone X sales predicament; multiple reports say people aren’t buying as the price is too high, so instead it’ll adopt the classic economic approach that it’s often better to sell more product for slightly less profit per unit, than a small number of high profit units.