There is never a dearth of new iPhone news with rumors and reports speculating about what the next iPhone would look like, its price and specs. On Wednesday, trusted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo came up with new iPhone news that there would be two new lower-priced 6.1-inch LCD iPhones coming out later this year.
According to Kuo, one model would come with a single SIM, while the second one would offer dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS) functionality (or two physical SIM card slots). Further, the trusted Apple analyst claims that the dual-SIM version would cost $650 to $750, while the other one-SIM version would be relatively cheaper at $550 to $650. The latest price estimates from Kuo are much less than what the analyst predicted earlier this year. In January, Kuo claimed that the LCD iPhone would range somewhere between $700 and $800.
Further, the analyst notes that the two variants will help Apple in two ways. First, it will help in creating more price segments, and second, the model with DSDS tech would help the company expand its market share further in China and commercial markets as well.
Apple is also expected to come up with two OLED iPhones this year. Though Kuo did not talk of the price of these, they would be significantly more expensive. Kuo believes that the successor to the iPhone X, which would also be the phone with the smallest-screen from Apple this year and would not offer a dual-SIM option. On the other hand, the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, which is expected to be the iPhone X Plus, would be integrated with the dual-SIM support.
For the users, the DSDS tech offers several benefits. The most important is the ability to travel abroad without changing SIM cards. It could prove a pretty useful feature in China where users often swap cellular providers between provinces. Further, the tech is also useful for businesses, which manage the employee’s mobile use for official purposes.
In February, Kuo noted that the Intel baseband chips would help Apple products to come with DSDS tech. The production of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhones is expected to start three to five weeks after the OLED versions. A recent report claimed that the OLED panel production will start next month, followed by assembly.
According to new iPhone news from Digitimes, the U.S. firm would start with the trial production of the 2018 iPhone lineup in the second-quarter. The trial production is seen as an effort by Apple to avoid the manufacturing delays that the original iPhone X faced primarily due to the 3D sensor modules. Further, the report noting that the sales of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X have been less than expected, claims that the trial production would help the company to stick to the 2018 delivery schedules, thus maintaining the smartphone momentum.
Kuo believes that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone and the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone would prove to be Apple’s most popular devices. The potential buyers would be less interested in the 5.8-inch version, mainly due to its smaller screen, absence of DSDS tech, and its high price point. In fact, the analyst believes that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhones could account for a major portion of Apple’s shipment from the third-quarter this year to the third-quarter of 2019.
A separate report from the Digitimes, however, claims that the next iPhone X would cost much less than the current $1000 iPhone. The report notes that the 5.8-inch handset would cost less to manufacture despite it having an expensive OLED display. Citing information from Apple’s upstream supply chain, the report claims that the next-gen iPhone X’s manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) would be over 10% lower than the current flagship.
Previous reports have hinted that it cost Apple $400 to manufacturer the iPhone X. Further, the report claims that this cost savings would be passed onto the buyers, making the next-gen iPhone X the cheapest of Apple’s 2018 iPhones. The report somewhat contradicts Kuo’s claims, but nothing can be confirmed until Apple announces something officially.
It appears we may not have to wait much longer for Apple’s 2018 lineup, and one may even arrive as soon as next month. According to Apple’s latest regulatory filings in the Eurasian Economic Commission database (via French Apple blog Consomac), the updated iPhone SE could be released next month.
Previously the EEC has served as an indication of the arrival of the new iPhones. These filings are usually posted a month before the announcement and release of the phone. The EEC filing lists 11 iPhone models that will run on the iOS 11. The listed model numbers are: A2101, A2103, A2104, A1921, A1984, A2099, A2105, A2097, A2098, A1920, and A2106.