Reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared a new guidance note to investors with details about Apple’s rumored 6.1-inch iPhone expected to debut this fall. The analyst note also highlights three new Apple products coming this year to watch for in addition to new iPhones…
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Starting with the rumored 6.1-inch iPhone, Kuo — now of TF International Securities after leaving KGI Securities — reiterates his previous predictions that the mid-sized iPhone will be a popular option for upgraders as it touts iPhone X-type features with a lower price.
Kuo continues to believe that the 6.1-inch iPhone will feature an LCD display but with the all-screen style introduced with the iPhone X. Because of this design decision, Kuo now argues, mass production is more difficult and will kick off later in the year, but the analyst expects models to be ready in time for release in September. Compare that to last year when the LCD iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus shipped in September, and the OLED iPhone X debuted in November.
The new LCD iPhone with an all-screen design will retail for $600-$700, Kuo predicts, which delivers the $1000 iPhone X design at the current price of the iPhone 8. Kuo has previously predicted a $700-$800 starting price. The price difference is afforded by using the cheaper LCD display panel over superior OLED panels, dropping pressure sensitive 3D Touch features, and having a single rear camera.
Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will continue ordering LCD iPhones alongside OLED iPhones next year, suggesting we’ll see upgraded versions of this fall’s hardware in 2019. Current rumors suggest an upgraded 5.8-inch iPhone X and a new Plus-sized 6.5-inch version of the iPhone X will also debut this year.
In terms of other new products to watch for this year, Kuo points to the rumored cheaper MacBook Air, iPad Pro models with Face ID, and Apple Watch models with larger displays — products Kuo has previously predicted which have been backed up by reporting. Kuo adds that 2019 iPhones will have ‘marked innovation based on past experience’ but specifics shouldn’t be expected until September or October of this year.
The analyst note also touches on other issues including potential risks of a trade war between the US and China. Kuo writes that it is difficult to predict what could happen, but Apple mostly likely won’t be directly affected. Instead, Apple’s brand runs the risk of being hurt in China over anti-US sentiment and not a direct policy change.
Ming-Chi Kuo adds that Apple can stay competitive in the region by innovating with new features in high-end iPhones and improving the experience for customers at the low-end — something Apple is doing with iOS 12.