Market intelligence provider TrendForce predicts Apple’s much-rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone could boast a starting price of around $699 to $749. The pricing is said to be partially in response to slower than expected sales of the current iPhone lineup.
According to TrendForce, the sales of Apple’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X that were released in 2017 were lower than expected for models that celebrate 10th anniversary of the iPhone line. Sales of the iPhone 8/X series were affected by the delayed launch. Moreover, the demand for iPhone X has not been as strong as anticipated because consumers still need time to adjust to the high prices. While the market performance of the iPhone 8/X series has fallen short of the high expectations, iPhone sales as a whole are sustained by the popularity of models from the earlier generations. TrendForce finds that total iPhone sales for the whole year of 2017 reached around 216 million units, roughly the same as the annual figure for 2016.
Similarly, the company plans to introduce three new iPhone models later this year, says TrendForce. All three models would continue to feature Face ID, and two of them would be premium versions with an AMOLED screen. Apple Pencil would be offered as an option as well. With the production volume estimated by TrendForce at around 83~88 million units, the new iPhones to be released may take a larger share of the company’s annual sales volume compared with the three models last year. For 2018, TrendForce expects the sales volume of iPhones to remain flat or grow marginally by 2~3%, influenced by the saturated smartphone market and the longer replacement cycle of phones across the world. In the global revenue ranking, Apple would retain its second position, following Samsung.
The three new iPhone models would include two OLED models measuring in at 5.8 and 6.5 inches, and a 6.1-inch lower-cost LCD model. All of the new models will include Face ID. TrendForce also predicts the LCD model will make up most of the Cupertino firm’s production share.
TendForce expects the two new 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED iPhone models to start at $899 to $949 and $999, respectively. The 6.5-inch model is expected to target the “premium business segment” of the market.
The analysis firm also expects Apple to offer the Apple Pencil as an option for the new iPhones. This jibes with a prediction from industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, although Kuo predicted the Apple Pencil support for 2019 at the earliest.