A new report suggests that Apple could delay the launch of its highly-anticipated 6.1-inch LCD iPhone until October.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said, via Barron’s, that there are “suspected issues with LED backlight leakage” on the upcoming mid-range handset. That could result in a one-month delay to mass production of the device.
Huberty believes that there are no issues with the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X successor or the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone X Plus. She expects both devices to debut and launch at Apple’s fall event sometime in September.
It’s worth noting that, while the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone could be delayed until October, it’ll likely still be announced alongside its OLED stablemates at Apple’s fall keynote.
The Morgan Stanley analyst does, however, note that the one month delay is slightly shorter than the 6-week delay originally forecasted by suppliers. That previous report suggested that the mid-range device would roll out in November.
It’s worth noting that there’s a precedent for a staggered device launch. Last year, Apple debuted its iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X handsets at its annual September keynote — but the iPhone X began shipping out to consumers at a later date than the iPhone 8 devices.
It’s also worth noting that there have been other rumors about a possible delay for the LCD iPhone.
Back in June, Korea-based publication The Bell reported that the lower-cost handset could be facing production issues due to the difficulties of forming an LCD display panel around a sensor cutout. LCD technology, inherently, isn’t as flexible as OLED displays.
If the LCD iPhone is debuted later, Apple will probably lose some upgrade customers who don’t want to pay for its premium OLED devices. Huberty expects a “slightly weaker-than-consensus September quarter” because of this.
That’s something most analysts agree on. Because of its premium features and lower price point, the mid-range handset is expected to spur massive sales when it launches. Apple could be forecasting a similar outcome since the LCD iPhone is reported to make up nearly half of all iPhones produced this year.
The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone is largely expected to sport “modern iPhone” features like a slim, bezel-free display; a TrueDepth Camera and Face ID in lieu of a Home button; and Qi standard wireless charging.
But while the mid-range device will come equipped with premium features, most analysts agree that it won’t feature a premium price tag.
Renowned TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone to be priced in the $600 to $700 range — making it a thoroughly mid-range device.
Rounding out Kuo’s pricing forecast, the analyst expects the 5.8-inch iPhone X successor to retail between $800 and $900, and the iPhone X Plus device to be priced around $900 to $1,000.