Apple's 6.1-Inch LCD iPhone 'Possibly' Delayed to October, OLED Models Still Coming in September
Apple might delay the launch of its new, low-cost 6.1-inch iPhone by one month and launch the device in October, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty (via Barron's). Huberty cites suspected issues with "LED backlight leakage" leading to the "possible" one month delay in mass production on the 6.1-inch iPhone.
The problem was worse in the original production forecast, according to the new report, as there was originally a rumored six week delay for the 6.1-inch device. Now, Huberty says the cheaper smartphone will launch in October, while the second generation 5.8-inch iPhone X and 6.5-inch "iPhone X Plus" will "see no delay" and debut in September. All three devices are expected to be revealed during an event in September.
We currently see no delay in the ramp of Apple's upcoming flagship 5.8" or 6.5" OLED iPhones. However suspected issues with LED backlight leakage have caused a 1 month delay in mass production of the 6.1" LCD iPhone, although this is down from a 6-week delay baked into the original production forecast, according to suppliers.
The six week delay for the LCD model was previously mentioned in a report earlier this year that predicted the LCD model wouldn't launch until November 2018, but otherwise the belief has been that Apple will release all three devices in September 2018.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has backed this idea, and in a June report outlined what he believes will be Apple's pricing plan for the smartphones: the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be priced at $600 to $700, the 5.8-inch OLED second-generation iPhone X will be $800 to $900, and the 6.5-inch OLED device will be $900 to $1,000.
If the 6.1-inch model doesn't make a September debut, Apple will likely lose a few sales to customers who are interested in a new iPhone model but still don't want to pay upwards of $800 in full for the OLED devices. Because of this, Huberty sees Apple delivering a "slightly weaker-than-consensus September quarter."
This is a similar sentiment that the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus gained when Apple split up their launches last year, although somewhat reversed given that the flagship iPhone X was the delayed device in 2017.