2018 iPhone X models could be cheaper (and bigger)

By

2018 iPhone
The new 2018 iPhone is expected to cost less than the iPhone X.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

An updated iPhone X could be a better deal than the current version, coming it at $100 less. Or buyers might be able to get a larger version for the same money as the original.

That’s the latest speculation about 2018 iPhone pricing, as Apple’s smartphone lineup gets increasingly complicated.

The $999 starting price tag for the 10th-anniversary iPhone is often cited as a reason for slower-than-expected sales. An improved model with a lower price would likely take care of that. Analyst Amit Daryanani from RBC Capital Markets said this morning that he expects this year’s 5.8-inch iPhone X replacement to cost $899.

He predicts a 6.5-inch version, likely called the iPhone X Plus, will cost $999, according to MacRumors.

iPhone X pricing

Some may wonder why Apple is doubling down on the iPhone X amid so many reports of poor sales. It’s likely because Apple itself denies any problems exist.

“iPhone X was the best-selling smartphone in the world in the December quarter according to Canalys,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in February, “and it has been our top-selling phone every week since it launched.”

With that in mind, it’s no surprise the company intends to base its next model on its best-performing current one.

The iPhone 9? iPhone Xs? iPhone XI?

However, any discussion of Apple’s smartphone plans for 2018 quickly runs into questions about what these devices will be called. The company introduced the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X in the same year, so what will the follow-up models be called?

The iPhone X debuted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the very first Apple smartphone. It’s quite possible that this was a one-time thing, and there will be only two new iPhones this year, as was typical before 2017.

If that’s the case, many new features that debuted in the iPhone X — such as Face ID and the OLED screen — likely would show up in both 2018 iPhone models.

Other improvements expected in the 2018 iPhones are a faster A12 processor, Animoji support in FaceTime, and possibly e-SIM cards.

Apple would likely market these phones as what they are — replacements for the iPhone X. In which case the best name would be iPhone Xs or even iPhone XI. If the new models are instead called the iPhone 8s or the iPhone 9, they would be perceived as being not as good as the iPhone X.

Pictures supposedly showing 6.5-inch displays headed for a presumed iPhone X Plus model leaked out last month. A separate report indicated that the 2018 iPhone will offer a gold finish as an option.

However, if you want real gold, you might go with a limited-edition Vladimir Putin iPhone.