This year’s stable of flagship iPhones, which are all rumored to sport iPhone X features, could launch at a reduced price according to a RBC Capital Markets analyst.
Apple is largely expected to debut three iPhones this year: a second-generation, 5.8-inch iPhone X; a so-called iPhone X Plus with a massive 6.5-inch OLED display; and a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD screen.
According to previous rumors, these iPhones would all adopt iPhone X-esque features, including an edge-to-edge display and Face ID.
But despite numerous reports corroborating what this year’s lineup will look like, there haven’t been as many predictions about those devices’ price points. Until today, at least.
The direct successor to the iPhone X, for example, could start at $899, about $100 cheaper than the previous model, RBC analyst Amit Daryanani forecasted in an investor’s memo on Monday.
The so-called iPhone X Plus, on the other hand, could retail at $999, Daryanani added.
Additionally, Daryanani predicts that the rumored LCD-based iPhone could start in the $700+ range. Due to that, the firm predicts that the lower-cost iPhone could make up about 35 to 50 percent of iPhone sales this year.
RBC Capital Markets is forecasting that Apple will shift each device’s starting price down by about $100. That move may be due to the “limited success” that the iPhone X saw with its relatively high $1,000+ price range, Daryanani argues. “This would effectively lower the average ASPs but we think will drive a stronger unit growth,” the analyst wrote.
Daryanani also forecasted several other details about the 2018 iPhone lineup. For one, the analyst expects that the LCD iPhone will use an aluminum edge construction, while the iPhone X successor and the iPhone X Plus will use “premium steel.”
He also backed up rumors about the entire stable of devices ditching the Home button and adopting an edge-to-edge display with a TrueDepth Camera.
iPhone X Pricing in Context
The iPhone X was undoubtedly an outlier when it came to typical Apple flagship pricing. Most recent iPhone flagships have started at $649 — even the iPhone 8 retailed for $699.
That was seemingly justified by Apple due to the technological “leap” that the iPhone X brought to its smartphone series. But with iPhone X-style features being applied to the entire lineup this year, it might make sense for Apple to bring down the pricing accordingly. That’s especially true if the iPhone X is actually doing poorly due to its high price.
For example, with Apple’s current 2017 iPhone pricing strategy, the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus could start as high as $1,099 for the base model.
It’s worth noting that it’s currently unclear where Daryanani is getting his pricing information, or whether his forecast is simply an educated guess.
The 2018 iPhone lineup is likely to be announced at Apple’s annual fall keynote, which typically takes place in September.