This year, Apple is expected to launch the successor to the iPhone X, along with two other iPhone models, but it sounds like Apple may change things up in another way, too.
Apple’s typical behavior when it launches a new iPhone is to drop the price of the older model(s), in an effort to offer a cheaper version of its devices, while still filling the top of the pyramid with its newest model. (This wasn’t the case with the iPhone 5 back in the day, when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, so this new report isn’t completely unheard of.) But, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that might not be the case this year. The research note sent out today suggests that Apple will likely discontinue the 5.8-inch iPhone X altogether, rather than lower its price point.
Kuo believes that if Apple were to drop the iPhone X’s price to $899, which would be $100 less than its launch price, then it could cannibalize the sales of the upcoming 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID. Keep in mind that that’s not technically the successor to the iPhone X, if the rumor mill is true. The iPhone X sequel should see a new 5.8-inch model arrive, and then an iPhone X Plus is rumored to boast a 6.5-inch display. The aforementioned 6.1-inch iPhone is said to feature an LCD panel, and not an OLED screen like the iPhone X models.
“iPhone X would hurt product brand value & lineup of 2H18 new models if it continues to sell at a lower price after 2H18 new models launch: Lowering iPhone Xs price after the 2H18 new models launch would be a negative to product brand value given 3D sensing and OLED display are features of the new high-price model. Additionally, to sell iPhone X at a lower price may have a negative impact on shipments of the new 6.1″ LCD iPhone in 2H18. Thus, we estimate iPhone X will reach end-of-life (EOL) around the middle of 2018.”
If this does indeed pan out, Apple will keep LCD models in the mix. 2018 could see the iPhone SE (or iPhone SE 2 for that matter), the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, the 6.1-inch iPhone (2018) for the low- and mid-range devices (on Apple’s scale). At the top of the list will be the iPhone X 2 and the iPhone X Plus.
Kuo’s expectation here isn’t too surprising, to be honest. There are going to be so many iPhones on the market this year, that removing one model won’t make that much of a difference. If Apple kept the iPhone X, and the company does announce three new models, that’s four units out there to choose from, and Apple wouldn’t have that big of a price range moving forward.
What’s more interesting is that suggestion that the 6.1-inch iPhone, with its LCD panel, will cost around $899. If Kuo believes its price point would go up against a cheaper iPhone X with a similar price tag, then it will be interesting to see how Apple starts pricing its phones from this point on. They’re obviously not going to be cheap. Maybe we see the 6.1-inch iPhone priced starting at $799, the iPhone X at $999, and the iPhone X Plus at $1,199.
Do you plan on buying the 6.1-inch iPhone?[via MacRumors]