So far, Apple has kept quiet on its 2018 iPhones. But the rumor mill and supply chain leaks have revealed tons of details about the devices. Wall Street analysts are fairly certain that Apple will release three new iPhones this September: a large 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, a 5.8-inch successor to the iPhone X, and a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.
Two different leakers have shared the front panels of the iPhone X Plus, iPhone X2, and LCD iPhone. One comes from concept designer and Twitter tipster Ben Geskin, and another comes via folks at SlashLeaks. Panels from both the sources appear identical, lending credibility to the leaks. Here’s what the 2018 iPhones will look like from the front.
2018 Apple iPhone, iPhone X, iPhone X Plus front panels pic.twitter.com/fGlzRH5Q6xMorningstar Investment Conference: What To Do During The Fed Rate Hiking Cycle
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— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) July 17, 2018
All three panels have a design similar to that of the iPhone X. All of them have a nearly bezel-less display with a top cutout. The 5.8-inch iPhone X2 and 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus appear to have the notch of the same size, which means the Plus variant should have the highest screen-to-body ratio of all the 2018 iPhones.
The notch on all three models has three cutouts, enough to accommodate the ear speaker, front camera, and the TrueDepth camera system. It means all the 2018 iPhones will support Face ID and Animoji technologies.
The LCD iPhone’s bezels are slightly different
At first glance, the three panels appear to have identical bezels. But there is something different on the LCD iPhone. Noticed it? The LCD iPhone has slightly thicker bezels all around, which also makes the notch appear bigger than on the OLED models.
The tempered film of the three iPhone 2018, we found that the 6.1-inch iPhone uses an LCD screen, its border is wider, and the 5.8 and 6.5-inch iPhone is an OLED screen with a narrower border. pic.twitter.com/7MtzH7KrDT
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 17, 2018
The LCD model has 5mm thick bezels compared to just 4mm on the iPhone X2 and iPhone X Plus. Similar to iPhone X, this year’s OLED models will have the OLED screen fold behind itself. As a result, the screen controller doesn’t occupy space in the bottom bezel area. It allows Apple to extend the OLED screen from corner to corner on its flagship models.
The LCD screens aren’t bendable like their OLED counterparts, forcing Apple to retain the bezel at the bottom for screen controller. Anyway, the bezel is uniformly distributed all around the display except for the notch, which should make the device look elegant.
Apple brings LG Display as new OLED supplier
Asian publication DigiTimes reports that Apple has signed an agreement with LG Display to source 20 million LCD screens this year for the LCD iPhone. LG Display will also supply 3-4 million OLED panels for the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus. The rest of the iPhone X Plus screens will come from Samsung Display. LG wanted to bag all the orders for the 6.5-inch panels, but it doesn’t yet have the capabilities to meet Apple’s demand.
Apple has been looking to diversify its supplier base. Samsung Display was the sole supplier of OLED screens for the iPhone X. Samsung was the only supplier capable of meeting Apple’s demands, so the iPhone maker couldn’t negotiate a better deal with Samsung Display.
The deal with LG Display should help Apple negotiate a better agreement with Samsung. LG is expected to ramp up its OLED output to grab a bigger pie of Apple’s orders next year. DigiTimes added that LG Display was expanding its OLED production capacity to 10 million units by next year.
2018 iPhones specs and price
Though the 2018 iPhones will have a similar design, there will be many differences in terms of hardware specs. Since the LCD iPhone will be a budget-friendly model, Apple will make a few compromises to keep its production costs down.
According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the LCD model will get only 3GB RAM and a single camera on the back. The other two variants will sport a dual rear camera setup and 4GB RAM. The LCD version will also lack the 3D Touch functionality.
All the three models will be powered by the next-gen A12 processor, which will be produced by TSMC using the 7nm manufacturing process. The 7nm chips will be 20% faster and 40% more energy-efficient than 10nm processors, claims TSMC.
DigiTimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin told clients that Apple would reduce the prices of 2018 iPhones compared to the iPhone X due to lower production costs. Lin predicts the 5.8-inch iPhone X2 could start at $899 compared to the iPhone X’s $999. The 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus is said to have a starting price of $999. The LCD version – which would be available in single-SIM as well as dual-SIM variants – will be priced between $600 and $800.