Analyst predicts that Apple will simplify iPhone branding in 2018
Guggenheim analyst Robert Cihra predicts that Apple might change the way it names future iPhone generations. He believes that Apple will simplify iPhone naming conventions with new models launching this fall.
Last year's model numbering changed when the name "iPhone 7s" was skipped and it was called the iPhone 8 instead. Cihra writes in an investor note received by AppleInsider that the introduction of the iPhone X may lead to simpler branding for the smartphones.
The analyst says that it is likely that Apple will use the next cycle to change its iPhone naming pattern. The mid-market LCD-based iPhone could simply be called "iPhone" without numbering, while high-end iPhones may keep the "X" to denote its higher specs.
As we’ve seen with the main iPad line, changing the way successive product releases are named is not a new idea for Apple. That range moved from iPad to iPad 2, then back to The New iPad, before switching to iPad Air by the fifth generation. It eventually returned to being called simply the iPad.
The change to simplify the name to iPhone while keeping the X branding could however be confusing to consumers in the future, as it will be more difficult to refer to a specific model without some type of identifying term.
Apple highlighted the lack of a bigger iPhone X last year due to the limited availability of OLED panels, but believes a 6.5-inch model in the new range will remedy this situation. There is also the possibility of a model equipped with LCD. It would likely use existing iPhone X features, including 3D sensing and native optimization of on-device augmented reality and machine learning.
It is currently rumored that 3 iPhones will ship this fall - a low spec 6.1 inch LCD model and a 5.8 inch as well as a 6.5 inch OLED version.
Guggenheim has decreased his forecast for the yearly iPhone unit growth from 3% year-on-year to 0% for the current iPhone generation. This is due to a weaker market demand for smartphones in China and less than expected iPhone X sales. Apple might ultimately not be able to outgrow a smartphone market that does not grow.
There is an increase of 15 percent year-over-year in the expected iPhone average selling price (ASP). This would help drive iPhone revenues up by 14 percent year-on-year.
With the 12-month price target unchanged at $215, Guggenheim does, however, still recommend that AAPL stock be bought.Source