KGI Securities financial analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a history of getting information out of Apple's supply chain, has clarified an earlier "prediction" about Apple's 2018 product line.
According to MacRumors, which obtained a copy of Kuo's note:
iPhone X would hurt product brand value & lineup of 2H18 new models if it continues to sell at a lower price after 2H18 new models launch: Lowering iPhone X's price after the 2H18 new models launch would be a negative to product brand value given 3D sensing and OLED display are features of the new high-price model. Additionally, to sell iPhone X at a lower price may have a negative impact on shipments of the new 6.1" LCD iPhone in 2H18. Thus, we estimate iPhone X will reach end-of-life (EOL) around the middle of 2018.
Often, in the Apple rumor space, the what gets conflated with the why. Someone comes across some information and instead of just reporting the information, it gets spun into a larger narrative that, at times, is partially or completely out of context. Multiply that through a chain of broken reblogs, and hilarity can and often does ensue.
Back in 2013, Apple chose not to follow its typical strategy and reduce the price of iPhone 5 by $100 to sit below the new, flagship iPhone 5s. Instead, Apple introduced iPhone 5c. It was a product that better suited the market and manufacturing goals Apple had at the time.
(In 2016, Apple did the same with the original Apple Watch: It was retired in favor of Apple Watch Series 1, which was introduced alongside the new, flagship Apple Watch Series 2.)
2018 could easily be similar to 2013, where iPhone X gives way to the new, cheaper LED form factor that better suits the market and manufacturing goals (and realities), which then sits beneath the new, flagship iPhone XI devices (whatever Apple calls the second generation and larger size versions.)
Apple doesn't set out to make one or two or three new iPhones in a year. The company sets out to make the best product line up. Often that entails keeping the previous year's device on the market at a slightly reduced price. But not always.
Forget competing for customer attention — or OLED supply. If Apple really wants to offer a less-expensive and larger sized edge-to-edge iPhone as part of this year's product line up, then retiring current iPhone X to make way for it is the way to do it.
(Let's just hope it finds higher attraction among its intended customer base than iPhone 5c did.)
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