2018 iPhones may get Apple Pencil support

According to TrendForce, Apple will offer Apple Pencil support and a 512GB flash storage option to at least some versions of the upcoming iPhones.

The research group says that all three 2018 models will continue to feature Face ID, and two of them will be premium versions with an AMOLED screen. The Apple Pencil would be offered as an option as well. 

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With the production volume estimated by TrendForce at around 83~88 million units, the new iPhones to be released may take a larger share of the company’s annual sales volume compared with the three models last year. For 2018, TrendForce expects the sales volume of iPhones to remain flat or grow marginally by 2~3%, influenced by the saturated smartphone market and the longer replacement cycle of phones across the world. In the global revenue ranking, Apple would retain its second position, following Samsung.

In terms of tech specs, TrendForce says the new iPhones may include two AMOLED versions, with a size of 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch, respectively, as well as a less expensive 6.1-inch version with an LCD screen. The two premium models with AMOLED screen will ship in September, while the less expensive model will ship in October, per the research group.

For the budget 6.1-inch LCD version, it will come with Face ID, Dual-SIM function, and a larger screen than its predecessor iPhone 8. The specs upgrades would make new iPhones more favorable in the competition with Android phones, according to Trendforce. On the other hand, the cost of this model has been approaching that of iPhone 8 Plus due to the upgrades. 

However, the 6.1-inch LCD model would be positioned by Apple’s main product this year, with a production share of around 50% in the new iPhone series. Considering the cost reduction of components, TrendForce estimates the starting price of this LCD version at around $699~749.

As for the two premium AMOLED versions, they would both feature a memory content of 4GB. The 5.8-inch one would come as the successor of iPhone X, but with a lower starting price of $899~949, notes TrendForce. With the anticipated launch of this model, iPhone X will start its “end of life” process earlier due to the high similarity in the specs of these two models, opines the research group.

The 6.5-inch AMOLED version would target at the premium business segment, with an extra-large screen and Dual-SIM service, but the Dual-SIM function is expected to be available only in certain regions. Limited within US$1,000 threshold as to encourage purchasing from consumers, the starting price of the premium AMOLED iPhone for 2018 will likely to be the same as that of iPhone X, at $999, according to TrendForce.