In a research note, first reported on by MacRumors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to release two new iPhones targeting the high-end market, together with a third, cheaper mid-range model. Kuo, who has reputation for delivering accurate information about Apple, thanks to his connections in the Asian manufacturing industry, believes that all three models will come equipped with full-screen designs and the TrueDepth camera system that featured on the iPhone X.
Kuo predicted that one of the two new high-end models will be a second-generation iPhone X, featuring an identically sized 5.8-inch screen. The other, he claimed, will come with a 6.5-inch display, Apple’s largest yet. Both are expected to be equipped with similar hardware to the iPhone X, including OLED displays, edge-to-edge screens and Apple's facial-recognition camera, Face ID.
"We believe the major hardware difference in the two new OLED models is size, in a bid to satisfy various needs of the high-end market," Kuo said.
The 5.8-inch model is expected to deliver 458 pixels by inch, similar to the iPhone X, while the larger 6.5-inch phone will reportedly offer a slightly better PPI of between 480 and 500. Kuo didn't outline how much the two new high-end iPhones will cost.
In his note, Kuo also revealed that Apple plans to launch a 6.1-inch model, featuring slightly cheaper specs in a bid to tap into the low- to mid-range market. This lower-end phone is expected to come with a lower-resolution LCD display and retail at a starting price of between $649 to $749 in the U.S.
“The new TFT-LCD model will differ significantly from the OLED models in hardware and design specs (for instance, the PPI will be lower),” Kuo said. “The primary selling points of the TFT-LCD model may be the innovative user experience of an integrated full-screen design and 3D sensing with a lower price tag “
Aside from lower resolution, Kuo noted that the cheaper iPhone could feature facial recognition instead of a fingerprint sensor.
In the research note, which was also reported on by Business Insider, Kuo predicted that all three models will drive a "real super-cycle in terms of iPhone replacement demand.” The analyst believes the new phones, coupled with strong demand for the iPhone X, will lift the share prices of Apple and its suppliers throughout 2018. (See also: iPhone X Will Help Apple Beat Samsung in Q4: Report.)
He expects the three new models to be launched without delay, adding that Apple’s supply chain is now better organized following the hiccup with iPhone X production. (See also: Apple's Market Cap Crosses $900B.)