The 2018 flagship iPhones are just a couple of months away. Accessories makers should have received the design schematics of the upcoming models from Apple to ensure that cases are available to customers when they go on sale. Folks at 9to5Mac have shared a video showing dummy units of the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus and 6.1-inch LCD iPhone (dubbed iPhone 9 by the rumor mill). They obtained the video from tech journalist Shai Mizrachi, who has provided accurate iPhone dummies in the previous years.
iPhone X Plus, LCD iPhone compared to last year’s models
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is confident that Apple will release three new models this year. Two of them – the 5.8-inch second-gen iPhone X and the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus – will have OLED screens while the third model will feature a 6.1-inch LCD screen. Mizrachi’s video doesn’t shed light on the 5.8-inch model, though it is expected to look almost identical to last year’s iPhone X. The hands-on video lends more weight to rumors.
An exclusive look on the next iPhone X Plus and iPhone 9.
The iPhone X Plus will come with 6.5 inch screen while the low cost version iPhone 9 will come with 6.1 inch and 1 camera only.
Soon another surprise, stay tuned! #iPhoneXPlus #iPhone9 #iPhoneDummy #iPhoneX @9to5mac pic.twitter.com/zxbkA4dZk9
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— Shai Mizrachi | שי מזרחי (@ShaiMizrachi) June 30, 2018
The video compares the upcoming models to last year’s flagship iPhones. You can also see cases on the dummy models from the casemaker Skech. It means accessories makers have received schematics ahead of the official announcement. In the last few years, accessories makers have been a reliable source of leaks on the yet-to-launch smartphones.
As shown in the video, the physical size of the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus is the same as the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. The upcoming phone will be able to pack a bigger screen space in the same form factor due to its bezel-less design. Similar to the iPhone X, its front panel will be all screen except for the top notch. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone also has a bezel-less design.
On the back panel, the iPhone X Plus has a vertically-aligned dual camera system with an LED flash similar to the iPhone X. However, recent reports have tipped that the 6.5-inch model could feature a triple camera system to take on Huawei’s P20 Pro, which has taken smartphone photography to a whole new level. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 is also said to sport a triple rear camera setup.
Mizrachi added that there is soon going to be “another surprise.” The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be Apple’s entry-level offering this year. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, it would cost between $550 and $750, and will be available in both single-SIM and dual-SIM variants. It is said to feature only a single camera on the back. The LCD iPhone will also lack the 3D Touch functionality. That’s the compromise Apple is making to keep its production costs down. The LCD variant is said to have 3GB RAM compared to 4GB RAM in the OLED models.
All the new models, including the affordable LCD iPhone, will feature the Face ID and Animoji technologies. The LCD model is expected to be the most popular variant this year due to its iPhone X-like design and a relatively lower price tag. All the three upcoming models will run Apple’s custom A12 processor, which will be produced by TSMC using its 7nm process technology.
Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will reduce the prices of its flagship models this year to boost demand. The iPhone X sales were affected by its ridiculously high price tag. The second-gen iPhone X is said to start at $899, down from $999. The 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus would have a starting price of $999.
LG Display to make OLED panels for iPhone X Plus
A few days ago, Bloomberg reported that Apple had decided to source a small number of OLED panels from LG Display starting this year to diversify its supplier base. Apple is said to have invested $2.7 billion in LG to help its ramp up its OLED production capacity. According to Bloomberg, LG Display will supply only 2-4 million panels for the larger iPhone X Plus this year. Samsung will remain the main supplier of screens for the second-gen iPhone X as well as the larger iPhone X Plus.
LG Display wanted to supply OLED panels for all the iPhone X Plus units, but it doesn’t yet have the capacity to meet Apple’s demand. LG is expected to get a bigger order next year, when Apple could switch entirely to OLED screens. LG currently makes P-OLED displays for Google’s Pixel 2 handsets. The deal with LG will help Apple negotiate better pricing from Samsung. The OLED display was one of the main reasons why the iPhone X was so expensive.