For the second time in the history of the iPhone, Apple is expected to release three different iPhone models at the same time this coming September. The company switched from one iPhone to two back in 2014 when it debuted the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and it continued to release two new flagship iPhone models annually until last year when it debuted the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X at the same time. In 2018, however, the company is expected to switch things up again. Instead of releasing successors to each of the three iPhone models it released last year, Apple will reportedly launch two brand new iPhone models along with an updated version of the iPhone X.
The larger and more expensive of Apple’s two brand new iPhones has been referred to thus far as the “iPhone X Plus,” though it’s doubtful that it will be released with that name. The phone is expected to feature the same design and specs as the 5.8-inch iPhone Apple will debut in September, but it will have a bigger 6.5-inch OLED screen and will be priced $100 higher than the smaller model. It will undoubtedly be a big seller for Apple, but the second new iPhone model expected to launch this year is even more intriguing. Unfortunately, a new report from an Apple insider with a great track record suggests this second new iPhone model could be in very short supply at launch, or it might even be delayed.
If earlier reports from multiple independent sources pan out, Apple’s new 5.8-inch iPhone successor will launch at the $899 and $1,049 price points, which would be $100 less expensive than Apple’s 2017 model. The current $999 and $1,149 price points will then be occupied by the new 6.5-inch “iPhone X Plus.” Though Apple typically continues to sell year-old iPhone models at a discounted price when new versions are released, the current-generation iPhone X is expected to be discontinued this coming September. In its place, the company will released a new lower-cost iPhone model that could start at just $649 or $699.
This new iPhone model will feature the same design as Apple’s OLED iPhones, but it will have a 6.1-inch LCD display. It will also lack 3D Touch and have less RAM than Apple’s other 2018 iPhones, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. While Kuo has told us practically everything there is to know about Apple’s three new 2018 iPhones, another reliable source of inside information just filled in a very important blank: The most affordable new iPhone model, which is also expected by some to be the most in-demand new iPhone model, will be in short supply at launch.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a new note to clients that was seen by BGR that mass production of Apple’s new 6.1-inch iPhone model is delayed by one month. The silver lining is that Huberty had initially forecast a 6-month delay. Despite the fact that things aren’t as bad as she had initially believed, the delay in mass production could still have an impact on supply at launch, which is fast approaching. According to the analyst’s note, the phone’s release might even be delayed.
“We expect Apple to report an in-line June quarter and provide a slightly weaker than consensus September quarter outlook due to a possible October launch of the 6.1″ LCD iPhone,” Huberty wrote. “We currently see no delay in the ramp of Apple’s upcoming flagship 5.8″ or 6.5″ OLED iPhones, however suspected issues with LED backlight leakage have caused a 1 month delay in mass production of the 6.1″ LCD iPhone, although this is down from a 6 week delay baked into the original production forecast, according to suppliers.”
Huberty still believes all three new iPhone models will be announced in September, which was the case last year even though the iPhone X was delayed and wasn’t released until November.