2018 6.1-inch iPhone could face early supply challenges, higher price point

Over the weekend, serial leaker Ben Geskin posted images purportedly showing dummy units for Apple’s upcoming 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the new handset, which might be called the iPhone Xc or iPhone Xr, is likely to face early supply challenges.

In a note to investors, Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall says he believes tight supplies and marketing considerations could mean Apple’s lower-cost 2018 iPhone might only be available in small qualities at launch.

Still, Apple has faced tight supply of the new low-cost model due to minor complications fitting backlights for the LCD screen, according to people familiar with the matter. That could mean the lower-cost device ships in limited quantities initially, they said. Apple may be tempted to delay availability of the LCD version to gauge demand for the more expensive largest new iPhone, Goldman’s Hall said.

Hall also expects the 6.1-inch model to be much more expensive than previously thought. Better-than-expected summer demand for the iPhone X could be the reason behind Apple’s decision to launch the new phone at around $849, instead of $699 or $799.

The 6.1-inch LCD model is expected to join the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch OLED iPhone Xs Max on the stage at Apple’s “Gather round” event on Wednesday. A new Apple Watch is also expected to launch this week, perhaps alongside two new iPad Pro tablets.

Apple’s hardware-focused event begins at 10 a.m. PDT. The company will be streaming the event as it happens through the Apple website and on Apple TV.