Apple is expected to release three iPhone models in 2018, including two OLED devices and one LCD device. Now, rumors out of the supply chain are shedding a little more light on that third, non-OLED handset.
One of the three iPhones released next year will indeed sport an LCD display, according to a source “privy to the company’s product designs” cited by Nikkei. In addition, the source indicated that the 2018 LCD iPhone would use a metal back construction similar to previous iPhone iterations — unlike the current glass-backed iPhone 8 lineup.
The LCD-equipped, metal-backed model will come in “several colors” like existing aluminum iPhone devices, like the iPhone 7 or iPhone SE. Similarly, without a glass back, we can safely assume that next year’s LCD iPhone will not be equipped with wireless charging capabilities.
Interestingly, Nikkei’s source also said that the entry-level iPhone would feature a 6.1-inch display. Current model Plus-sized iPhones sport a 5.5-inch display, and even the iPhone X features a 5.8-inch display. Presumably, this means that the 2018 LCD iPhone would need to be either a larger, phablet-style device or adopt the edge-to-edge, bezel-free design of the current iPhone X.
As far as the two OLED devices that will round out 2018’s trio of iPhones, Nikkei reported that they would feature a 5.8-inch display and a 6.2- or 6.3-inch display, respectively. The first, of course, would be a direct successor of the iPhone X, while the larger model could be the rumored iPhone X Plus.
Previous 2018 LCD iPhone Rumors
Nikkei’s report lines up with previous forecasts made by renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. Kuo previously suggested that Apple will release three iPhones next year, with two OLED devices and one LCD-based model on the docket. These reports do conflict with rumors that all 2018 iPhones would be OLED-based, but those reports are becoming outliers.
It’s worth noting that while Nikkei’s recent report lines up very well with Kuo’s, there are some sizing discrepancies. While Nikkei’s source says the LCD-based iPhone will sport a 6.1-inch display, Kuo predicts that the entire device will measure in at 6.1-inches. Of course, if it does include an edge-to-edge design, the device size and display size would basically be the same, as with the iPhone X.
In addition to display technology and overall sizing, Kuo predicted that the new iPhones would incorporate a new stainless steel frame that would improve the quality of data transmission. Kuo added that all three iPhones are likely to use Face ID instead of Touch ID, meaning that even the LCD-based model next year could ditch the Home button.
Apple’s current lineup, made up of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X (10), does create a moniker problem for next year’s flagships. Though there’s some evidence to suggest that the entry-level LCD iPhone could simply be dubbed “iPhone,” similar to how Apple names its other products.