- KGI Securities
- Apple will launch three new iPhone models in 2018, a reliable Apple analyst says.
- One of the phones could feature an edge-to-edge LCD screen and TrueDepth facial recognition that costs between $649 and $749.
- Apple is also said to be working on a 6.5-inch iPhone with a design like the iPhone X but with a bigger OLED screen.
- Apple will also launch a successor to the iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, the analyst says.
Apple will release three new iPhone models in 2018, the KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in a note distributed to clients on Monday and seen by Business Insider.
Kuo and his research team are well-known for accurately predicting details about upcoming Apple products, thanks to his connections in the Asian manufacturing industry.
“We predict Apple (US) will launch three new iPhone models in 2H18: 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED models and a 6.1-inch TFT-LCD model, all equipped with a full-screen design and TrueDepth Camera (front 3D sensing), as with iPhone X,” Kuo wrote in Monday’s note.
Apple is preparing two iPhones targeting the “high-end market,” Kuo says. The third model will be aimed at the middle and low-end markets, and Kuo predicts a price tag of between $649 and $749.
The high-end iPhones will include one phone with the same screen size and technology as the iPhone X and a supersized iPhone X model with a 6.5-inch screen. The iPhone X starts at $999.
The high-end phones are expected to have edge-to-edge screens and Apple’s facial-recognition camera, Face ID, like the iPhone X. The low-end iPhone could feature facial recognition instead of a fingerprint sensor and sport a 6.1-inch LCD screen at a lower resolution than the high-end OLED phones, among other differences in hardware and design specs.
A ‘real super-cycle’
The three models will drive a “real super-cycle in terms of iPhone replacement demand,” the analyst wrote, predicting 100 million to 120 million iPhones assembled in the second half of 2018.
Kuo now pegs next year as the supercycle because he expects Apple to release its new phones on time, as well as because of a larger range of price options with Face ID and a strong demand for the iPhone X through 2018.
He also expects Apple will ship 25 million to 27 million iPhone X units this quarter and increase by 35-45% in the first quarter of 2018.
Analysts previously predicted that this year’s high-end iPhone X would drive a “supercycle” of sales, but a seemingly short supply has caused some researchers to delay their supercycle forecasts to 2018 or later.
Kuo says he views Apple’s shares and its key suppliers positively in 2018.
Apple usually launches new iPhones in September, so lots of things could change before then. However, Apple executives have said they lock down new iPhone hardware designs in November.