While Apple is preparing its quarterly results that are likely to highlight the initial performance of the iPhone X, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has released some new research notes to outline the next-generation versions of the latest iPhone model. The analyst already confirmed that the Cupertino company is set to launch not just one or two but three new iPhone models with the aesthetics similar to the iPhone X. Now, Kuo considers, on the basis of the information gathered from supply chain sources, that all the three new iPhone X versions will come with 3D sensing technologies to enable Face ID and Animoji as well as a full-screen, thin-bezel design with the absence of a home button. Another report from Taiwan also points out the development of a new iPhone SE version that would be the cheapest offering in the 2018 iPhone family.
As spotted by folks at MacRumors, Kuo in his notes for investors highlighted that Pegatron, Foxconn, and Wistron be the key assemblers of the 6.1-inch iPhone model that will feature an LCD panel against the other two reported OLED models. It is said to have a price tag between $700 and $800 (approximately between Rs. 44,500-Rs. 50,900) in the US. Being an affordable model in the new range, the LCD version of the iPhone X will have features such as Face ID and Animoji support but lack 3D Touch and come with an aluminium frame. Further, it is reported to have a single-lens rear camera setup, instead of a dual-lens system on the other two new iPhone models, and 3GB of RAM. The handset is also rumoured to have a one-cell, rectangular-shaped battery with a capacity of 2850-2950mAh, unlike the odd, L-shaped battery of the original iPhone X. The new battery pack is likely to be up to 8.5 percent larger than the existing top-end iPhone model, but the increased capacity will result in a small logic board.
In addition to the LCD version of the iPhone X, Kuo has detailed the second-generation iPhone X and the iPhone X Plus. The latter is said to have a larger, 6.5-inch display and up to 25 percent larger battery capacity - somewhere between 3300-3400mAh, over what is featured on the original iPhone X. The battery packs on the both new iPhone models are also reported to come in the L-shaped design to help them yield up to 10 percent additional capacity than what can be derived from a traditional, rectangular-shaped battery.
Notably, Kuo previously said that Apple will not add any significant update to its TrueDepth camera system. Some rumours are suggesting the presence a similar system on the back of the new iPhone models in addition to its availability on the front. However, it is highly presumable that the iPhone maker is not favouring any upgrade when it comes to the technology powering the TrueDepth system on the original iPhone X model.
Kuo believes that the new iPhone X family will sell well in the global markets, especially the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. Moreover, we can certainly presume the availability of all the three new iPhone models sometime in September this year - in line with the previous iPhone launch schedules.
In the meantime, a DigiTimes report contradicts Kuo's notes and claims that Apple is in plans to bring four new iPhone models, with two sporting LCD panels in sizes around 5.7- to 5.8-inch and 6.0- to 6.1-inch. The Taiwanese report, citing in-house Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin, states that all the four new iPhone models will support wireless charging and 3D sensing features. The company is also reportedly preparing a new iPhone SE model, likely to be called the iPhone SE2, sans 3D sensing functionality. It is rumoured to go for mass production in the second quarter with an official launch sometime in May or June.
It would be interesting to see the launch of the new iPhone SE as Apple has already grabbed a decent market share with the original model, mainly in developing markets such as India. Having said that, there aren't any authenticated confirming the development of the iPhone SE2.