Technology

Bad News For iFans: LCD iPhone Launch Delayed, All Models To Get Slower Modems

LCD iPhone Launch Delayed
Image Source: KGI Securities / Ming-Chi Kuo (screenshot)

It’s no longer a secret that Apple is going to launch three iPhones this fall. Reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities has revealed that there would be a second-gen iPhone X with 5.8-inch OLED display, an iPhone X Plus with 6.5-inch OLED screen, and a budget-friendly 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. Last year, Apple unveiled the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X at the same event in September, but delayed the iPhone X release to November. Something similar is happening with the LCD iPhone. An analyst predicts the LCD iPhone launch could be pushed back by several weeks.

LCD iPhone launch gets delayed by a month

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty told investors (via Barron’s) that the LCD iPhone launch will likely take place in October, even though all three models will be unveiled simultaneously in September. The iPhone X2 and iPhone X Plus will “see no delay.” It means the OLED models should go on sale in the second or third week of September.

In an earlier research note, Huberty had predicted the LCD iPhone launch would see a six-week delay. She said at the time the device was unlikely to launch until November 2018. As it turns out, things aren’t as bad as she predicted earlier. Huberty blamed issues with “LED backlight leakage” for the delay. Apple seems to have resolved the issue, but there is a one month delay in mass production of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.

Even if Apple manages to launch the LCD iPhone alongside the iPhone X2 and iPhone X Plus in September, it will be in short supply for weeks. The delay (or limited availability) in the LCD iPhone launch is the primary reason Katy Huberty expects Apple to “provide a slightly weaker than consensus September quarter outlook.” The tech giant could also end up losing a few sales to people interested in buying the latest iPhone without breaking the bank.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the LCD iPhone would cost between $600 and $700. The 5.8-inch iPhone X2 will see a price drop compared to its predecessor, costing $800 to $900 for the base model. The larger 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus will set you back by $900 to $1,000. The higher storage versions will likely cost even higher.

All the three models will have an iPhone X-like bezel-less design and all of them will feature the Face ID technology. The budget-friendly LCD iPhone will look like its OLED siblings, but it won’t be as powerful as them. The LCD iPhone is said to have only 3GB RAM compared to 4GB in the other two. It will also lack the 3D Touch functionality. According to Kuo, the LCD model will get only a single camera on the back, while the other two will sport dual cameras.

All the upcoming models will be powered by the A12 custom chip. Taiwan-based TSMC is manufacturing the new chips for Apple using its 7nm manufacturing process. The new chips will be faster and more energy efficient than last year’s A11 Bionic chip.

Japanese blog MacOtakara has learned from supply chain sources that Apple would launch the LCD iPhone in bright colors similar to iPhone 5C. The LCD model will be available in black, white, flash yellow, electric blue, bright orange, and taupe colors. There is no red color option because Apple tends to reserve that color for the (PRODUCT)RED launches. The iPhone X2 and iPhone X Plus are said to launch in gold, silver, and gray colors.

The 2018 iPhones will have slower modems

Yes, it’s been confirmed by a Qualcomm executive. Apple and Qualcomm are locked in a fierce legal battle that is eventually going to affect iPhone buyers. Qualcomm CFO George Davis told investors during a conference call, “Apple intends to solely use our competitor’s modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release.”

In the previous generations of iPhones, Apple has used LTE modems from both Qualcomm and Intel. The Qualcomm chips were so faster than their Intel counterparts that Apple had to restrict their speed to ensure a uniform speed across devices. We should expect the 2018 iPhones to be slower accessing the Internet.

Intel could be the sole supplier of LTE modems for this year’s flagship iPhones, but Intel chips are noticeably slower than their Qualcomm counterparts. The rumor mill claims Apple is also in talks with MediaTek to source LTE and 5G modems for its future smartphones. The Cupertino company has a habit of diversifying its supplier base. Qualcomm is working to bring 5G modems to market by the end of this year while Intel’s 5G modem won’t be ready until next year.