A prominent industry analyst with a strong track record in discerning Apple’s iPhone production plans says that the company will introduce two new versions of the full-screen iPhones.
According to a note to his clients that’s currently being circulated to the media, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is predicting that Apple will introduce a 6.5-inch version of the iPhone X with a higher resolution OLED screen. He’s also saying that the company will introduce a 6.1-inch version with an LCD screen.
The current version with a 5.8-inch OLED screen would continue, probably as an S model, according to Kuo's assessment, meaning it would become the iPhone Xs. However, whether Apple decides to stay with that naming convention remains to be seen.
Likewise, it’s not clear whether the 6.5-inch iPhone would be would be called an iPhone X Plus or something else. It’s worth noting that the iPad Mini has a screen size of 7.9 inches, so the larger iPhone is starting to encroach on iPad territory.
That new, larger version of the iPhone X, whatever it’s going to be called, will become the new top end phone for Apple and probably for the rest of the industry. The new OLED screen will be at the high end for phone size and it will have a screen resolution of 480–500 pixels per inch, versus the existing iPhone X which has a resolution of 458 PPI. At the other end of the iPhone X spectrum, the LCD version will have a screen resolution of 320 to 330 PPI, which is similar to the resolution on the iPhone 8.
The lower resolution version of the iPhone X is designed to cost less as a way to appeal to the lower end of the market. Of course Apple is expected to continue selling its older models just as it does now including the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 6S line.
However, Apple apparently doesn’t need those low end models as badly as some predicted. Ming-Chi Kuo estimates Apple will sell 25 to 27 million iPhone X units in the final calendar quarter of 2017 and will increase production of the iPhone X by 35 percent to 45 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to his report to clients.
A number of analysts had predicted that Apple would be hampered by supply chain problems, especially with the Face ID hardware that requires great precision and which has had a high rate of rejects. However, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has very close ties to Apple’s supply chains, sees things differently.
He’s predicting that the suppliers will gear up to meet the current demand quickly deliver components supplies the new iPhone versions on time, meaning that they’ll be available soon after the September 2018 introduction, unlike the iPhone X which required a month and a half wait after Apple introduced it.