Like every year, Apple will be launching its new iPhone models in fall 2018. As per previous reports, the Cupertino giant is expected to launch three iPhone variants this year - a 6.5-inch OLED model, a 6.1-inch LCD model, and a 5.8-inch OLED model. According to new information, the 5.8-inch variant of the 2018 iPhone will be cheaper to manufacture, despite the OLED display. This could be an indication for Apple fans to expect a price drop from the massive $999 price point of the iPhone X that was launched last year.
Digitimes Research analyst Luke Lin said in a research note, the new 5.8-inch model of the iPhone will have a total bill of materials (MBOM) over 10 percent lower than the iPhone X had when it was initially launched. Lin says in the report that the iPhone X MBOM was more than $400 in 2017. Due to this cost reduction, the report says, "Apple may position the new 5.85-inch device as the cheapest model of all three next-generation iPhone models."
Interestingly, Lin says Apple had previously planned to bring another LCD version of the 5.85-inch iPhone. However, the project was suspended "mid-February and may be eventually terminated." The company was reportedly planning to launch the LCD version of the handset "due to MBOM concerns."
The report also added that, due to a weak demand of the iPhone X, Apple took fewer OLED panels from Samsung Display, which resulted in "more bargaining chips" for the latter in negotiations for the manufacturing of 2018 iPhone. While this could have led to price increments, the report claims that Apple has already reached an agreement with Samsung Display "with satisfactory terms."
Lin believes that the 5.85-inch OLED iPhone can be launched as the cheapest of the three new models. He says that engineering samples have shown that this particular model has adopted components with lower specs than in the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. Interestingly, LPDDR memory (RAM) will be one of the biggest differences, the report claimed.