Trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has made a new prediction in his latest note to investors on Monday that Apple will discontinue 2017’s $999 iPhone X model later this year. The company is planning to replace it with a lower-priced plus-sized model featuring an edge-to-edge OLED display iPhone model.
If turned out to be true, this year will mark a break from Apple’s common practice of continuing to sell older iPhone models at a lower price when a new iPhone model is added to the product folio.
Here is an excerpt from Kuo’s note to investors, obtained by MacRumors:
iPhone X would hurt product brand value and lineup of the new 2018 models if it continues to sell at a lower price after the new models’ launch.
Lowering iPhone X’s price after 2018 models launch would be a negative to product brand value given 3D-sensing and OLED display are features of the high-price model.
Additionally, to sell iPhone X at a lower price may have a negative impact on shipments of the new 6.1-inch LCD iPhone in the second half of 2018. Thus, we estimate iPhone X will reach end-of-life (EOL) around the middle of 2018.
Kuo believes that the upcoming 6.1-inch “iPhone X Plus” model should be priced much lower than the $999 iPhone X coming in the $650-$750 range. iPhone X sales are weaker than expected and Kuo believes that Chinese customers are holding on to their iPhone phones for a longer time, dislike the notch, and prefer larger-screened devices. Kuo also predicts that Apple will be able to ship approximately 18 million iPhone X units in the current quarter versus the consensus 20-30 million units.
Kuo further says that Apple has somehow managed to establish a new $999 price point for a flagship iPhone model. “We believe iPhone X has established a long-term edge for Apple.” Apple’s competitors will try their best to introduce Face ID like functionality in their 2018 models, the analyst said. Although he believes that Apple has already taken a technical lead of 2 years on Android counterparts.
Kuo once again reiterated his previous claims that Apple would unveil an iPhone X successor along with a 6.5-inch OLED model, and a 6.1-inch LCD model featuring TrueDepth Camera and an iPhone X-like edge-to-edge display.
Kuo predicts that “the real super cycle will kick in” later this fall.