How analysts fared with their expectations for the 2018 Apple iPhone line-up

How analysts fared with their expectations for the 2018 Apple iPhone line-up
The dust has settled, and Apple has now taken the wraps off of the 2018 Apple iPhone models. As expected, there is the 5.8-inch iPhone XS, the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max, and the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone XR. So how well did the securities analysts do with their forecasts about these models? Well, as early as September 2017, just a couple of weeks after last year's iPhones were unveiled, a report out of Korea noted that Apple had dropped plans for a 5.3-inch OLED screened model for 2018, and replaced it with a 6 inch LCD unit. The same story called for the remaining OLED iPhones to carry a 5.85-inch display and a large 6.46-inch screen. And that was nearly a full year ago.

That very same month, reliable analyst Ming Chi-Kuo was calling for the TrueDepth Camera, and thus Face ID, to appear on all three new iOS powered handsets for the following year. By December 2017, it already was pretty much settled that Apple was working on three new phones for 2018. Kuo told clients to expect two OLED screened models (5.8-inches and 6.5-inches) and one with a 6.1-inch LCD display. Based on Apple's past naming history, the OLED units were dubbed the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Plus. The iPhone with the 6.1-inch screen was called the iPhone 9.

Most of the leaks, both good and bad ones, dealt with the 6.1-inch LCD model. Again, it was Kuo who correctly told clients back in January that the device will not support 3D Touch. This past July, several analysts called for the unit to be sold in a plethora of color options. As it turned out, the iPhone XR will be available in six colors.

By August, we had a pretty good idea what the new iPhones were going to look like thanks to mock ups created from leaked specs, and dummy units.

While every year the unveiling of the new iPhone models gets less suspenseful, there were some questions answered today. One, will Apple employ an older SoC for the iPhone XR, was answered by Apple with a resounding "No." All three phones are powered by the A12 Bionic chipset. Additionally, back in July there was talk about Apple putting a fast charger in the box with the new handsets. That turned out not to be the case, although for an extra $68, the necessary components can be purchased. And we can't end this story without mentioning the pricing of the iPhone XR. Just in the last few weeks alone, we have seen analysts price this model as high as $849. As it turned out, Apple tagged its most affordable 2018 handset at $749 for the 64GB variant.

Leaks about the 2019 iPhones have already started showing up. Once again, it is Ming-Chi Kuo at the forefront. He expects next year's models to have "marked innovations," with the TrueDepth Camera to be found on both sides of the 2019 iPhone models. The big question is whether we will once again basically know what to expect from Apple by the time Spring and Summer arrive next year.

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