Apple to launch 2018 OLED iPhones with Apple Pencil support: TrendForce

Market research firm TrendForce also claimed that in order to maintain its profitability, Apple may bargain with its supply chain partners for cost reduction of components.

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We have seen a lot of rumours and predictions regarding the upcoming iPhones that Apple will launch this year. All the reports had one thing in common: three iPhones this year, one with LCD display and other two with OLED displays. Famous Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo has also made some offbeat claims like several colour options in the 2018 LCD iPhone. In another similar claim, market research firm TrendForce has said that the OLED iPhones will come with optional support for Apple Pencil.

“All three models would continue to feature Face ID, and two of them would be premium versions with an OLED screen. Apple Pencil would be offered as an option as well. With the production volume estimated by TrendForce at around 83~88 million units, the new iPhones to be released may take a larger share of the company’s annual sales volume compared with the three models last year,” TrendForce said.

The firm said that the sales of Apple’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X were lower than expected. Sales of the iPhone 8/X series were affected by the delayed launch. The total iPhone sales for the whole year of 2017 reached around 216 million units which are roughly the same as the annual figure for 2016. “For 2018, TrendForce expects the sales volume of iPhones to remain flat or grow marginally by 2-3 percent, influenced by the saturated smartphone market and the longer replacement cycle of phones across the world. In the global revenue ranking, Apple would retain its second position, following Samsung,” the firm predicted.

When it comes to the pricing and specs, there is not much new information that TrendForce has to give. The new iPhones may include two OLED versions, with a size of 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch respectively, as well as a less expensive 6.1-inch version with an LCD screen. It says that the two models with OLED display have already been assembled since late July, while the assembly of the LCD models is scheduled at mid-September. All three models are expected to be shipped in September and October.

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Regarding the prices, TrendForce says that Apple will need to improve its cost structure to cope with the threats brought by Android brands. “In order to maintain its profitability, Apple is said to bargain with its supply chain partners for cost reduction of components, especially the components that have been used in earlier generations of iPhone,” the firm said. It says that the 6.1-inch LCD model will be positioned by Apple’s main product this year and considering the cost reduction of components, it may launch with a starting price at around $699-$749. The 5.8-inch one would come as the successor of iPhone X, but with a starting price of $899-$949. Lastly, the 6.5-inch version would target at the premium business segment with a starting price of $999.

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