By all accounts, the iPhone X was supposed to usher in a super cycle of iPhone upgrades. The reality, though, was slightly different. Though the iPhone X sold incredibly well last quarter, year-over-year iPhone sales fell by about 1 million units. Of course, it’s worth noting that Apple’s most recent holiday quarter was 13 weeks long, as opposed to the 14 week quarter Apple enjoyed during last year’s holiday quarter. As we detailed last week, if Apple’s December quarter included an extra week, iPhone sales could have easily checked in at 83 million units.
Without question, demand for the iPhone X remains strong, as evidenced by the iPhone ASP increasing dramatically year over year. Consumers are clearly loving Face ID and the controversy surrounding the notch has all but evaporated at this point. At the same time, the iPhone X’s $999 price point likely prompted some prospective buyers to either opt for the iPhone 8 or put off upgrading until a later date.
Looking ahead, rumor has it that Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup will consist of three new devices: a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, a refreshed iPhone X, and a brand new 6.1-inch iPhone with an edgeless LCD display. From what we’ve gathered so far, Apple’s 6.1-inch iPhone will be far more affordable than the current iPhone X, and as a result, the aforementioned iPhone super cycle could very well manifest later this year. In short, Apple’s 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will attract an avalanche of upgraders who want a refreshed iPhone design but aren’t willing to fork over upwards of $1000 for a new device.
Touching on this point, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently issued an investor note (obtained by AppleInsider) claiming that Apple’s LCD-based edgeless iPhone will be more popular than the company’s OLED-based models.
In a trio of notes seen by AppleInsider, Kuo says anticipation for this year’s iPhone X led to a dismal outlook on the future of LCD models, but a rumored 6.1-inch LCD model could reshape sentiment in 2018.
Specifically, Kuo believes share pullbacks of the LCD supply chain over the trailing year have priced in concerns about growing OLED competition. Further, if Apple does release a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone model with full-screen display, as rumors suggest, the potential for sales growth will positively affect suppliers like LCD manufacturer Japan Display.
In short, there’s reason to believe that Apple later this year will shatter all existing iPhone records, both in terms of overall sales and revenue as the 6.1-inch iPhone will effectively be an iPhone X-style device priced like an iPhone 8.