Apple has surprised the world last year with the release of the iPhone X, celebrating a decade from its first smartphone changing the way we look at mobile devices forever. The new iPhone had quite a few industry firsts, with its dented OLED display, its lack of fingerprint reader, and its brand new facial recognition technology. It was a handset more than capable of taking care of everyday tasks and run all the top games for iPhone and iPad but it seems not to have sold as well as the Cupertino giant has expected. While the company hasn’t officially confirmed it yet, several industry sources now speak of Apple potentially discontinuing its iPhone X line completely this year.
According to recent estimates, Apple will have sold around 18 million iPhone X units before the end of the January-March quarter, well below the previous estimates of 20 to 30 million. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the iPhone X to sell up to 62 million units by mid-2018, far below the previous estimates of around 80 million, which will likely determine Apple to discontinue the product entirely. He thinks that Apple will choose to end-of-life the iPhone X rather than lowering its price in order not to hurt the sales of future models released this year.
Other sources speak of a potential new iPhone model, on the more affordable side, to be released this year. Currently called the “iPhone SE 2″ (this is, of course, not the official name of the handset) might be released as early as March 2018. The original iPhone SE hit the market in March 2016 and was pretty popular among those denouncing the big-screen iPhone 6 released in the previous year. In 2017, there was no SE update, so the time seems right for a brand new handset to be released. Judging by the current price of the iPhone SE, the updated model will likely cost somewhere between $399 and $449. Some suggest that the phone will have a glass back and wireless charging, and a screen similar to the dented one of the iPhone X.
Yet others expect Apple not to release a lower-end iPhone at all this year. Huaquang Research analyst Pan Juitang, cited by Macworld, expects the Cupertino giant to scrap the iPhone SE line altogether, claiming that there is not enough demand for a 4” smartphone today to justify the maintaining of the current line, let alone releasing an updated version.
One thing’s for sure: the Apple releases coming this year will likely be surprising for many. We’ll probably see quite a few innovative features from the iPhone X make it in the upcoming iPhone 9 – but we’ll probably see more rumors and leaks as time passes in the year