The iPhone X just launched a couple of months ago, but it didn’t take long for the rumor mill to start spinning stories about what to expect from the iPhone X2. Today one analyst suggested that there could be three X-generation iPhone models next year, including an iPhone X Plus that’s even bigger and more expensive. In typical bullish fashion, however, he expects only good things for Apple from a higher iPhone price tag.
Three times as many iPhone X2 units
Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson said in a note on Tuesday that he expects “a wider array of X-generation devices similar to iPhone X” launching in the fall of 2018. He emphasized that he doesn’t have direct knowledge” of Apple’s plans for the next iPhone cycle, but he also claims that for fiscal 2018 and the iPhone Xs/ iPhone X2 cycle, suppliers of 3D components “are being told to generate” three times the number of components that were made for the iPhone X this year.
He expects a “lower-priced X-gen option,” which he said is probably a price cut on the current model, and possibly a “plus” X-gen model this year. He explained that a plus-sized iPhone X2 “tests the upper bounds of what buyers are willing to pay for an iPhone and provides an option for those looking for more real estate in their iPhone screen.”
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Olson said all these speculations suggest that the average selling price for the iPhone could rise to $765 for fiscal 2019 from his current estimate of $720 for the year. He also compiled a list of potential prices for the increasingly segmented SKU listing he envisions:
A bear’s interpretation of the same events
CLSA analyst Nicolas Baratte argued the bear case for the iPhone X in his own report on Tuesday. While Olson believes the iPhone X is selling very well, Baratte thinks the evidence points in the opposite direction. He also opposes Olson’s views for the speculated iPhone X2 line-up slated for release later this year.
Baratte pointed out that sell-side expectations for the December quarter seem to have been cut to 35 million iPhone X units from between 45 million and 50 million. He also said that this reduced estimate let to speculations by Digitimes that Apple might slash the iPhone X’s price by $100 in 2018.
Would consumers buy an extra, extra expensive iPhone X2?
The CLSA noted that he obviously doesn’t know what the Cupertino tech giant will end up doing, but he doubts that the company will cut the price because previous price cuts were due to excess inventories. He doesn’t think there is a problem with iPhone X inventory. He pointed out that shipment times reduced quickly from between four and six weeks to two days, but he sees “no inventory headache,” in his opinion.
As happens often, analysts are speculating about things before any educated guess can really be made. If Olson is correct and the iPhone X2 Plus ends up being even more expensive than its predecessor, then it would be a foolhardy move on Apple’s part if people have been shying away from the iPhone X due to its price tag. Until we see iPhone unit numbers and average selling prices for the December and possibly March quarter, it would be unwise to speculate on whether the iPhone X2/ iPhone Xs Plus price tag will be even higher than the controversial price of its predecessor.