The iPhone X isn’t the most affordable handset you can buy right now, although there are ways to make it feel less expensive. In most cases, you still end up paying the $1,000 price tag, whether you do it all at once or in installments. Come this fall, one of the three new iPhone X successors that Apple is currently working on might be priced as low as $550.
Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities is one of the most accurate Apple insiders out there, and he shared a new note with clients about Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup.
The analyst says that Apple will have three iPhone models in stores this year, including a 6.1-inch LCD model and two OLED versions with 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch screens. Some of these versions will come with dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS) powers, including 6.1-inch versions — but not all of them — and the 6.5-inch “Plus” model.
The 6.1-inch single-SIM iPhone X version is going to be the cheapest model of all of them, Kuo believes. Here’s a quote from his note seen by MacRumors:
6.1″ LCD iPhone may have model that supports DSDS. If the 6.1″ LCD iPhone comes with DSDS and single-SIM models, we believe it will result in two benefits: (1) more price segments would be created, significantly boosting shipments via the low-price single-SIM model. For instance, if the DSDS model sells for US$650-750, the single-SIM model may sell for US$550-650; and (2) the DSDS model will help increase market share in China and commercial markets.
This isn’t the first time Kuo claims the iPhone is finally getting a dual-SIM option, but the update makes it clear that the 5.8-inch iPhone X launching this year, the direct successor of the original iPhone X, won’t have the functionality.
DSDS iPhones, which will support dual-LTE support, should help Apple sell more iPhones in China where dual-SIM handsets are really popular. Furthermore, a lower priced new iPhone could help Apple sell more phones. The iPhone X’s sky-high price is one of the reasons why sales stalled after the Christmas quarter. A different report said earlier this week that pricing for this year’s OLED models may start at $899 rather than $999.
If this $550 iPhone price tag is accurate, it would be the first time Apple sells a brand new iPhone for a lot less than previous entry prices. Sure, Apple does discount one-year-old handsets by $100, and you can find an affordable option in Apple’s lineup right now as long as you’re ready to settle for 2016 or 2015 technology.
Kuo says that mass production for the 6.1-inch iPhone will start three to five weeks later than the OLED models because of the recent decision to add a DSDS model.
The analyst added that Apple’s supply chain will see strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 through the second quarter of 2019 thanks to the move. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone and the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone are tipped to be Apple’s most popular handsets this year. The LCD phone could account for 65% to 75% of total iPhone shipments in its first year.