Apple planning lower-cost iPhone for 2018 – reports

MANILA, Philippines – The hype for the iPhone X hasn't fully subsided yet, but talks for Apple's next batch of phones have already begun. 

Just like this year, 3 new iPhones are going to be introduced next year, according to a source by the Nikkei Asian Review – the most interesting of which is a lower-cost model that ditches the glass back introduced in the 2017 phones. 

The glass back enables wireless charging. The rumored low-cost model returns to a traditional metal back that may enable Apple to sell it at a slightly more affordable rate. The said model will also be using an LCD screen like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and not an OLED screen like the iPhone X's. 

OLED screens are brighter, feature better contrast, and are flexible enough to sport a curved shape. 

The rumored lower-cost iPhone's screen will be 6.1 inches, larger than the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X's 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch, and 5.8-inch displays. Along with that, Apple is said to be introducing two other models that will be using the more expensive OLED screens – one measuring 5.8 inches and the other, 6.3 inches.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for his accurate Apple insights, revealed similar details in mid-November – that Apple will be releasing two OLED phones and one lower-cost LCD unit. He added that all 3 phones will have edge-to-edge screen with notch design and TrueDepth camera system just like the iPhone X. The LCD-equipped unit will come with the lowest screen definition at around 320 to 330 ppi (pixels-per-inch) which is roughly the same as the iPhone 8.

The estimated price of the lower-cost iPhone? It may start at $649 according to Kuo, and peak at $749. The iPhone 8 launched at $699, so Apple's rumored idea of a lower-cost iPhone is actually barely cheaper than its current batch.

On the business side of things, Nikkei suggests that Apple wants to continue making an LCD-equipped phone to prevent an over-reliance on Samsung, their primary supplier of OLED displays and chief rival. Other OLED suppliers do not have yet the capacity to produce enough for Apple. –


Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.