A larger iPhone X Plus will likely arrive to boost weaker-than-anticipated demand for Apple’s latest smartphones this fall. One reliable analyst claims the device will boast a 6.5-inch display and will be accompanied by a more-affordable 6.1-inch model.
iPhone X has become Apple’s hottest handset in years. Still, it seems the device may not achieve the ambitious sales estimates many analysts have been forecasting. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities expects Apple to ship around 18 million iPhone X units in the current quarter.
That’s significantly fewer than the 20 million to 30 million estimates from other analysts. Kuo blames this primarily on weaker demand for iPhone X in China. Customers in that country tend to hold onto their devices longer than people in other markets.
Apple will ship around 13 million iPhone X units in Q2 2018, Kuo says.
Apple might stop manufacturing iPhone X
As a result of weaker demand, Apple might stop manufacturing iPhone X when this year’s new models go into mass-production in mid-2018. By that point, it’s thought Apple will have sold around 62 million units in total — far fewer than the 80 million previously predicted.
This seems like a highly unlikely move for Apple, which tends to continue selling flagship iPhones for several years after their introduction. However, Kuo has a spectacular track record when it comes to reporting Apple’s upcoming moves.
iPhone X Plus will save the day
The reason Apple won’t need to continue producing the current iPhone X is because it won’t be required come fall. Kuo expects Apple to introduce three new handsets — including a refreshed iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen — that give fans plenty of options to choose from.
Alongside a new iPhone X, Kuo claims (again) that Apple will launch an iPhone X Plus with a 6.5-inch OLED screen. That would come alongside a less-expensive handset with a 6.1-inch LCD screen. Kuo says the latter model should cost between $650 and $750.
When the trio goes on sale this fall, that’s “when the real super-cycle will kick in,” Kuo insists. He predicts iPhone shipments will grow 10 percent for calendar year 2018 as a result. That would handily beat growth estimates for the smartphone industry as a whole.