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Ming-Chi Kuo Returns With 2018 iPhone Details: Lower Pricing, September Launch for All Models

Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has returned today with his first Apple-related research note for his new firm TF International Securities. According to Kuo, Apple's pricing strategy will be "more aggressive" for the three iPhones rumored for September 2018, an effort to boost shipments of the models this year.

Renders of the 2018 iPhones

One of the main reasons Kuo says is behind the aggressive pricing strategy is Apple's "concern over the negative impact of a higher price" for its 2018 iPhones. Last year, the company received some blowback on the top-tier pricing of its iPhone X, which began at $999 in the United States for 64GB.

Now, Kuo states that the 6.5-inch OLED "iPhone X Plus" will be $900-$1,000, the second generation OLED iPhone X will be $800-$900, and the new 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be $600-$700. Kuo reiterates that all 2018 iPhones will have a full-screen design and Face ID. The analyst also outlined more reasons behind Apple's new pricing strategy:
We forecast that Apple will adopt a more aggressive price policy for the following reasons: (1) concern over the negative impact of a higher price in a mature smartphone market on selling momentum, (2) improved cost structure, which is mainly attributed to assembly yield improvements of end product & 3D sensing and cost reduction of components, and (3) increasing users of Face ID benefiting the promotion of the Apple service and ecosystem.
Secondly, Kuo believes that Apple will announce all three new iPhone models at an event in September. Furthermore, all three iPhones will launch in September, including the LCD model which some reports have previously pegged for a November debut.

This is Kuo's first research note since departing KGI Securities in April. At the time, it was believed he would lessen his focus on Apple to look at other emerging industries, but it seems we can still expect reports on Apple and its supply chain from Kuo.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

11 weeks ago
There goes my iPhone X’s resale value.
Rating: 25 Votes
11 weeks ago
Today might as well be Christmas! WWDC in a few hours and Ming-Chi Kuo returns!
Rating: 14 Votes
11 weeks ago
I still love my iPhone X
Rating: 13 Votes
11 weeks ago
Don't get it why people don't like this guy here, his reports are always spot on.
Rating: 11 Votes
11 weeks ago
Can we please have at least just 1 small phone model... It's annoying how phones keeps increasing in size... 6.5 inch what the .......
Rating: 10 Votes
11 weeks ago
I think this is definitely accurate, and great news for all of us consumers. Apple is giving all price points some relaxation, AND giving us curvy screens with Face ID on all of the newest models. Christmas in September!

This is what a former employee had to say about this article:

Rating: 7 Votes
11 weeks ago
Makes sense. Last year a lot of the tech was bleeding edge. Combine that with a new iPhone X Plus model and you'd end up with that model starting around $1199 which is a bit crazy. By introducing the iPhone X Plus model at $999 you can still help keep the average selling price high while pushing more volume at the low end. If that price turns out to be true then I'd expect the lineup to look like this:

* iPhone X Plus: $999
* iPhone X: $849
* iPhone (new edge-to-edge): $699
* iPhone SE (new edge-to-edge): $499

Additionally they could add a storage capacity option of 512GB on the two X models to bump ASP by a bit.
Rating: 7 Votes
11 weeks ago
This is like when apple lost its mind with the over 10k price for the first watch trying to be of the likes of Rolex.

Hardly anyone bought it.

Now for those that went and bought the first X will be a little upset if the price for the newer X is way cheaper than what they paid for for the first edition of their X. This would anger me if I paid for the phone full price instead of a monthly payments.
Rating: 6 Votes
11 weeks ago

By “concern”, you mean record sales? First time in iPhone history the top-tier model is also the best-selling model. Oops.

I'd be shocked if there wasn't some concern within Apple as unit sales failed to grow in the holiday quarter - but overall revenue was propped up by extremely high ASP of the X. Apple would much prefer 5-10% unit growth PLUS slightly higher ASP, and this 2018 strategy will probably achieve that. It's a solid adjustment, if true.
Rating: 6 Votes
11 weeks ago
Nope, still too expensive for a "phone"
Rating: 6 Votes

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