2018 iPhone Shipments to Apple This Fall Predicted to Be Highest Since iPhone 6 Lineup
Apple's upcoming trio of iPhones will see an estimated 70-75 million units shipped from suppliers to Apple by the end of 2018, according to supply chain sources speaking to DigiTimes. Thanks to the expected solid performance of the iPhones this year, Apple's main supply partners TSMC and Foxconn are looking forward to new revenue highs in Q4 2018.
Specifically, if suppliers hit this range it will be the best performance for an iPhone since the launch of the iPhone 6 models in 2014. One of the main reasons for the boost is given to the "price-friendliness" of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, which Apple is expected to introduce as a cheaper alternative to the other two models: an updated 5.8-inch iPhone X and a larger 6.5-inch "iPhone X Plus," although Apple may not go with the "Plus" branding this year.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will use an aggressive pricing strategy for its 2018 iPhone lineup: the 6.5-inch OLED device will be priced at $900 to $1,000, the 5.8-inch OLED second-generation iPhone X will be priced at $800 to $900, and the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be priced at $600 to $700. While the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch will be available in September, a few reports have stated the 6.1-inch model will face a delay.
DigiTimes also references "smooth production and strong shipment momentum" picking up soon:
Most supply chain partners are expected to see revenues pick up significantly along with smooth production and strong shipment momentum before peaking in the fourth quarter of the year.
The impressive upgrades in overall designs and functions as well as the price-friendliness of the 6.1-inch model should give the new devices a shipment momentum much stronger than their two preceding generations, the sources said.
For TSMC, the supplier is expected to "fully recover" by the fourth quarter, following a "debilitating" computer virus that hit many of its fabrication tools in early August. Concern quickly spread about the company's inability to fill Apple's orders in the wake of the virus, but follow-up reports quickly suggested that TSMC would be able to "fill orders on time for Apple Inc.," ensuring no delays in chip shipments for the 2018 iPhones.
In regards to the 2018 iPhone assembly, both Foxconn and Pegatron will share duties building the models. Foxconn will build the majority of the two OLED iPhones, while it has just 30 percent of the orders for the LCD model, with Pegatron getting the majority of the duty building the cheaper iPhone this year.
Yesterday, a report from Bloomberg provided a hint at one name that Apple has brainstormed for the 2018 OLED iPhones -- "iPhone Xs" -- but it's still unclear what the final names will be. The actual reveal event is now rumored to be held on Wednesday, September 12 at Steve Jobs Theater, according to two unnamed sources speaking to French radio station Europe 1, followed by iPhone pre-orders kicking off on Friday, September 14.
Despite concern over sales figures quickly dropping after first-adopters purchased the ten-year anniversary iPhone X, the flagship device performed well in Q4 2017 and remained popular among customers throughout 2018. Addressing concerns over dwindling sales and those worried about numbers, Apple CEO Tim Cook in May said: "I think it's one of those things where a team wins a Super Bowl. Maybe you want them to win with a few more points, but it's a Super Bowl winner and that's how we feel about it."