Why Ap­ple’s ru­mored 6.1-inch iphone will be the model ev­ery­one wants

Re­ports say Ap­ple plans to or­der more LCD iphones than OLED ones for the next cy­cle. We’re not sur­prised.

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY MICHAEL SI­MON

We’ve heard enough ru­mors about Ap­ple’s up­com­ing slate of iphones ( go.mac­world.com/upif) by now to pretty much know the score. Much like this cur­rent lineup, there will re­port­edly be three mod­els in three sizes, rang­ing from 5.8 inches (the cur­rent size of the iphone X) all the way up to 6.5 inches. But the most in­trigu­ing model is the one that fits in be­tween: a 6.1-inch LCD model.

The scut­tle­butt has al­ways been that the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iphone XI mod­els will be OLED, while the 6.1-inch iphone will be LCD, thus re­tain­ing a low­er­priced op­tion. Ac­cord­ing to a new re­port in The Wall Street Jour­nal ( go.mac­world.com/ achp), Ap­ple ex­pects that sin­gle model to

ac­count for more than half of all iphone sales dur­ing the next cy­cle, mean­ing it ex­pects to move more than 100 mil­lion of them, based on cur­rent sales fig­ures. That’s a big num­ber—and based on the Jour­nal’s sources, a switch from the orig­i­nal Oled-heavy plan—but it’s hardly a sur­prise. Based on what we’ve heard, Ap­ple’s new LCD phone is shap­ing up to be a mon­ster hit, even if it’s out­num­bered 2:1 by Ap­ple’s OLED phones. Here are three rea­sons why ev­ery­one will want one:


The 5.8-inch iphone X ( go.mac­world.com/ ixrv) tech­ni­cally has a big­ger screen than the 5.5-inch iphone 8 ( go.mac­world.com/ i88p). Plus, there’s ac­tu­ally more us­able space on the smaller phone, due to the iphone X’s unique ra­tio and notch. We’re only talk­ing a few mil­lime­ters in width here, but it’s no­tice­able, es­pe­cially for any­one who has been us­ing a Plus phone for the past few years.

By in­creas­ing the screen to 6.1 inches, Ap­ple will be clos­ing the gap. I’ve used more than my share of 6-plus-inch An­droid phones, and 6.1 inches is pretty close to a sweet spot. From hold­abil­ity to us­abil­ity, a 6.1-inch iphone will at once feel big­ger than the iphone X and the iphone 8 Plus without be­ing too big. Mean­while, the 6.5-inch model will be a mon­ster re­served for the most de­mand­ing of iphone users.


I can tout the ben­e­fits of OLED over LCD un­til my face shifts blue, but it’s not go­ing to mat­ter to most users. What makes the iphone X so at­trac­tive isn’t the tremen­dous qual­ity of its screen, it’s the de­sign. No mat­ter how you feel about the notch, there’s no deny­ing the appeal of the iphone X’s “all-screen” de­sign, curved cor­ners, and sym­met­ri­cal bezels. It makes the iphone 8 with its home but­ton and gi­ant fore­head seem even more out­dated than it is.

Even with an LCD screen, the new

6.1-inch iphone is ru­mored to adopt the iphone X’s de­sign, notch and all, putting the en­tire line on even foot­ing. I sus­pect more than a few iphone 6 Plus users held off on buy­ing a new phone this year with this very hope: that Ap­ple would ex­pand the iphone X de­sign to the other mod­els next year. It’s go­ing to re­quire some real en­gi­neer­ing on Ap­ple’s part as LCD screens aren’t as flex­i­ble as OLEDS, but if Ap­ple can pull off an LCD iphone that has the same de­sign as the iphone X, lots of peo­ple will want one.


While Tim Cook likes to re­mind an­a­lysts that the iphone X has been Ap­ple’s best­selling iphone ( go.mac­world.com/5rsq) ev­ery week since it launched, that doesn’t mean Ap­ple is sell­ing more OLED phones than LCD ones. Ap­ple doesn’t break out iphone sales by model, but you don’t need to be a rocket sci­en­tist to fig­ure it out— Ap­ple sold some 50 mil­lion iphones last quar­ter at an aver­age sell­ing price of

$728. That means a lot of peo­ple are still opt­ing for the cheaper LCD mod­els.

That’s mainly due to price. The iphone X starts at $999, which makes it 25 per­cent more ex­pen­sive than the iphone 8 Plus. The 6.1-inch model will re­port­edly be priced be­tween $600 and $700, mean­ing it will ac­tu­ally be cheaper than the iphone 8. Granted, it will prob­a­bly have a lesser cam­era than the other two mod­els and ob­vi­ously an in­fe­rior screen, but most peo­ple will only see one thing: a cheap iphone X. ■

No mat­ter how you feel about the notch, there’s no deny­ing the appeal of the iphone X’s ‘all-screen’ de­sign, curved cor­ners, and sym­met­ri­cal bezels.

These ren­der­ings of the 2018 iphone lineup show how the new mod­els will look. The model on the right is the 6.1-inch one.

If the 6.1-inch iphone costs $300 less than the iphone X, it’ll be a huge seller.

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