The follow-up to Apple's $1000 iPhone X may have a lower price, predicts a well-connected analyst

Hollis Johnson
  • Apple usually releases a new iPhone (or iPhones, plural) in September – though it hasn’t yet announced a launch event for this year.
  • Here are the latest rumours from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a reputation for nailing details about unreleased Apple products through his connections in the Asian supply chain.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new set of predictions about Apple’s updated iPhone lineup, expected to be released this fall.

Apple has released new iPhones every September since 2012. Although Apple has not announced a launch event yet this year, the rumour mill insists that a grand unveiling will be held the second week of September, and will introduce a lineup of three new iPhones.

The Kuo research corroborates a report from Bloomberg on Monday – but it also includes some new predictions, including his belief that none of the new iPhones will support Apple Pencil, the company’s stylus.

He also believes that a new iPhone model, expected to sport a 6.1-inch LCD screen – with more viewing area than an iPhone 8 Plus – might launch later than the two more traditionally-sized iPhone models the company is cooking up.

“Two new OLED iPhone models will be available in September, and the new 6.1″ LCD iPhone model will be available slightly later due to its later production schedule,” he wrote in the note, predicting the 6.1-inch model could account for 50-55% of iPhone shipments during the next cycle.

Kuo’s research notes focus on the supply chain, with an audience of for Asian investors who are looking to invest in the companies that sell iPhone, iPad, and Mac parts to Apple. He writes that now is the best time to invest in Apple’s suppliers, and he recommends buying shares in companies including Luxshare, O-film, Catcher, and others.

“We believe the business momentum of the iPhone supply chain will significantly boost starting from August, reach the peak in [4th quarter 2018], and grow YoY in [the first half of 2019,]” he wrote.

Here’s what we know about how the iPhone lineup is shaping up, based on Kuo’s notes and Bloomberg’s report:

  • One phone will look like the current iPhone X, which costs $US999. However, it will have internal upgrades, including faster processing and a better camera. It could get a price cut, Kuo predicts, to a starting price between $US800 and $US900 – a price closer to the iPhone.
  • Another will be a “high-end” large phone that’s about the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, but with an edge-to-edge screen measuring 6.5 inches. One new software feature will be the ability to use two apps side by side, taking advantage of the larger screen, according to Bloomberg. It’s possible that because of the larger screen, this device will cost even more than $US999, though prices haven’t been announced yet. Kuo predicts it topping off under $US1000. This may come in a version that supports two SIM cards.
  • Perhaps the best-selling new iPhone model will be a less expensive device that could come in multiple colours and use a 6.1-inch LCD screen – also with a notch for Apple’s Face ID camera – to keep costs down. Previous estimates suggest this device could be priced closer to $US600 or $US700. This may also come in a dual-SIM card version.

Here’s a graphic with spec predictions included with Monday’s TF International Securities note:

Kuo 2018 iPhone predictionsTF International Securities

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