While the 2018 iPhone lineup is likely to include two new OLED display-featuring models, Apple is apparently not very optimistic about the premium experience and is now reportedly expecting that LCD models will make up the majority of iPhone sales in the upcoming lineup. It is reported that the Cupertino giant initially wanted almost equal production of iPhone models featuring LCD and OLED panels, but possibly due to poor demand of the iPhone X that debuted last year with an OLED panel and a massive starting price tag of Rs. 89,000 ($999 in the US), the company shifted its original estimation. Presently, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 series model include LCD panels. Some initial reports claimed that the new LCD iPhone this year will come somewhere between $600 (roughly Rs. 41,000) and $700 (roughly Rs. 48,000).
Citing people involved with Apple’s supply chain, The Wall Street Journal reports that instead of its new OLED models, Apple expects its LCD models to make up the majority of iPhone sales in its new lineup, expected to debut this Fall, notes MacRumors.
The company reportedly changed its expectation by taking in view the “sign of consumers’ sensitivity to the price of smartphones”, considering the weaker demand of the iPhone X than the initial forecasts mainly due to its price tag. Furthermore, it is said that Apple could retain at least one lower-priced LCD iPhone in its 2019 lineup instead of shifting entirely to OLED. This may be a strategic move majorly to offer an affordable option in the market.
It is unclear whether Apple is considering particularly the 2018 iPhone LCD model as its sale-driving offering this year or including the iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and the iPhone SE in the list of “LCD models” that are likely to attract several customers despite the launch of new models.
Having said that, the strategy of bringing a new LCD-based iPhone this year appears to be aimed at bolstering revenue as it is rumoured to be the cheapest in the new family. As per a recent note by Apple-watching analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is working at TF International Securities, the lower-end iPhone in the new range that will come with a 6.1-inch LCD panel will come somewhere between $600 and $700 price, while the new 5.8-inch OLED iPhone will be priced between $800 (roughly Rs. 55,000) and $900 (roughly Rs. 61,600) and the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone will be priced between $900 and $1,000 (roughly Rs. 68,500). All these models are expected to carry an iPhone X-like design, though certain features will be specific to the OLED models – certainly, to project them as premium in the range.
Apple could deploy an MLCD+ panel on the new iPhone model instead of a traditional LCD panel to deliver an enhanced experience. Also, the LCD version may include Face ID support to fill in the absence of the fingerprint recognising Touch ID.