Apple is widely anticipated to introduce three new iPhones later this year with a design similar to that of the Apple iPhone X. According to analysts, two of those models will sport Samsung-made OLED displays, while the third model will stick to LCD panel. The LCD iPhone model slated for release in September is seen as Apple’s attempt to recreate the super cycle for iPhone sales.
Now, in a new memo quoted by Feng, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the LCD iPhone model will not only be cheaper than the OLED-based iPhone X, but also offer new design change. Kuo says the LCD model will use “cover glass sensor” technology in which the touch module is moved out of the display panel to the surface glass. The design change is also said to include an addition of a thin-film sensor to the mix, which will raise the cost of parts from $23 to $26.
With the switch to CGS technology, Apple might probably remove the 3D Touch support on the LCD model to bring down the final price. However, the 3D Touch technology is said to remain on this year’s OLED model. Kuo also sees scope for Apple bringing the cover glass sensor (CGS) technology to all iPhone models in 2019.
While Kuo sees Apple dropping 3D Touch to cut down the cost, there is also a counter argument stating that 3D Touch won’t go away since it is completely woven into the operating system. Another argument is the investment made by third-party developers to support the feature, and they probably won’t like it if Apple ditches the technology. According to AppleInsider, Kuo believes there is also a possibility that the thin-film sensor will act as a replacement for 3D Touch, but it is not clear how the technology will work.
The LCD iPhone, according to Kuo, is expected to feature a 6.1-inch edge-to-edge display like its OLED counterpart. It is also expected to switch to metal back in order to lower the cost and might drop support for wireless charging. Kuo predicts that the LCD model will be available at a starting price between $550 and $650. He says Apple will also introduce dual-SIM version of this LCD model, which could be priced between $650 and $750 to target consumers in markets like India and China.
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Rosenblatt Analyst Jun Zhang had recently claimed that Apple will bring support for stylus to its 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, likely to be called as iPhone X Plus. He says the iPhone X Plus will also be launched in dual-SIM variants since the large-screen model is seen as a strong seller in Chinese market. The reports so far indicate Apple will lower the price of OLED model in order to lure more upgrades, and Kuo predicts 65 to 70 percent of iPhone shipments this year to be of LCD model.