We heard a rumour a little while back from none other than Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst from KGI Securities with possibly the best track record ever when it comes to new tech predictions and accurate leaks. Kuo said that Apple would launch three iPhones in 2018, two would be new flagships models running OLED displays, essentially successors to the iPhone 8 series (both an iPhone model and a larger iPhone Plus) but using the bells and whistles the iPhone X introduced, while the third would have an LCD display.
A new report from Nikkei, citing Japanese industry sources, appears to substantiate the claim of a new LCD iPhone for next year, and also reiterates Kuo’s assertion of two OLED display flagship iPhones arriving in 2018 as well. Apparently this is good news for two major Japanese firms; Sharp and Japan Display, both of whom are primary producers of LCD and who have taken a hit to their shares after Apple announced its Samsung OLED based iPhone X.
According to the report, the LCD iPhone – which could be a reboot of the more affordable iPhone SE – will have a 6.1in touchscreen and a metal bodyshell, encompassing both the surround and the back panel – it won’t be a glass-backed device.
The OLED iPhones are thought to be 5.8in and 6.3in sizes, which in both cases is notably larger than the current-gen iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (4.7in and 5.5in respectively). The metal body of the LCD model will mean it won’t support wireless charging like the 2017 iPhone line and likely the 2018 OLED iPhones, but if it’s a cheaper model it would make sense for certain premium features to be dropped.
On top of this, it looks as if Apple’s $1000 iPhone plan has kind of backfired. The company’s sales for its new flagship are lower than expected and this has resulted in production units being reduced during Q1 2018.
Is the iPhone X too expensive? I’d argue it is. And I know it’s not THAT much more than the top of the line iPhone 8 Plus, but it is the principle of the matter – $1000 is A LOT of money for a phone. Even by today’s standards.
“Apple experienced a slight downturn from the previous holiday quarter as iPhone volumes reached 77.3 million units, a year-over-year decline of 1.3%. Volumes were still enough to push Apple past Samsung and back into first place in the smartphone market, largely because of iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X,” notes IDC.
It added: “Apple continues to prove that having numerous models at various price points bodes well for bringing smartphone owners to iOS. Although demand for the new higher priced iPhone X may not have been as strong as many expected, the overall iPhone lineup appealed to a wider range of consumers in both emerging and developed markets. Apple finished second for the full year in 2017 shipping 215.8 million units, up 0.2% from the 215.4 million units shipped in 2016.”
I get that Apple is trying to forge new ground for its business, but there is nothing contained within the iPhone X that actually warrants such a price hike – it has no USPs and/or features compared to most top flight Android phones.