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.
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.