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2018 iPhone X to be cheaper than 2017 iPhone X

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Apple is expected to come out with 3 new iPhones this year, with one a direct 5.85-inch OLED successor to the iPhone X, the second a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, and the third a 6.45-inch OLED iPhone. Reports so far have claimed that the LCD handset will be the cheapest, but a new article claims that the second-gen iPhone X will in fact be the most affordable.

As per Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin, Apple has reduced the 2018 iPhone X’s manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) by 10% as compared to the current model. The 2017 iPhone X had a MBOM of more than $400, so that’s a roughly $40 difference.

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Apple may or may not pass on this cost savings to consumers, who currently have to pay a hefty $999 for the 2017 iPhone X. Lin predicts it will, positioning the device as the cheapest of the trio, followed by the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone and the 6.45-inch OLED iPhone X Plus.

Also Read: Apple’s making it own screens for future iPhones, Apple Watch

The analyst thinks that Apple has brought this about by adopting components with lower-level specs or lower capacities than those found in the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. LPDDR memory is mentioned as one of the major differences, based on the smartphone’s recent engineering samples.

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Sources in the upstream supply chain claim that Apple was developing a 5.85-inch LCD iPhone as well, but work on that has been suspended since the end of the Lunar New Year holiday season in mid-February. It might just get terminated eventually.

Lin believes that Apple was going to release a 5.85-inch LCD iPhone instead of an OLED one this year because of MBOM concerns. Its decision was dependent on the cost of the OLED screens. Samsung had apparently gained a lot of leverage in negotiations since the iPhone X’s demand was weaker than expected, leaving Apple to order less panels than previously thought.

It appears Apple reached a satisfactory agreement with Samsung recently, preventing cost hikes on the display side of things and ensuring supply. Whether this will mean more reasonably priced iPhones this year is anybody’s guess.

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