Apple to add Apple Pencil support to next iPhones, threatens Samsung Note 9 with pricing

A report from TrendForce argues that Apple will offer lower iPhone prices, support Apple Pencil and squeeze suppliers on component costs.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Apple may be set to launch three new iPhone models and include Apple Pencil support in what could be a body blow to Samsung's Galaxy Note 9, according to research firm TrendForce. Apple is also expected to offer lower prices -- ranging from $699 to $999.

Also: New 2018 iPhone, iPhone X Plus, iPhone 9: Rumors, leaks, and everything we know so far

TrendForce's primary argument is that, with Apple's successor to iPhone X, the company has been able to squeeze its suppliers to get lower component costs. Samsung has cited the tough balance between component costs and profitability of its mobile unit.

Has Apple been able to bring component costs down? Perhaps. Foxconn, best known for manufacturing Apple's iPhones, reported a 2.2 percent decline in second quarter profit. What was notable is that Apple highlighted good demand for the iPhone. The two developments indicate that Apple has been able to squeeze suppliers to lower prices.

Also: Photos: Apple iPhone models through the years TechRepublic

Now, when you toss in the Apple Pencil support, it's possible that Apple would be able to better compete with mid-price Android players as well as premium Samsung devices.

TrendForce's key points:

  • All three new iPhone models will feature Face ID and two will have AMOLED screens.
  • The lower-priced version will be a 6.1-inch LCD version.
  • The 5.8-inch iPhone will start at $899 to $949.
  • Apple Pencil would be an option.
  • Screens would cover 5.8-inch, 6.1-, and 6.5-inch models.
  • Assembly of Apple's AMOLED screen devices have been assembled at OEMs since late July.
  • Memory in premium versions will be 4GB.
  • 512GB will be an option on the premium devices.
  • Shipments will be in September and October.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Should you upgrade for 512GB at $1,249.99?

TrendForce noted:

Apple is bound to adjust its pricing strategies, influenced by Chinese brands that have successfully expanded their market shares with products that offer high performances at affordable prices. Moreover, Apple will need to improve its cost structure to cope with the threats brought by Android brands. In order to maintain its profitability, Apple is said to bargain with its supply chain partners for cost reduction of components, especially the components that have been used in earlier generations of iPhone.

The timing of the TrendForce report may be just enough to pause Note 9 preorders, since the Apple Pencil support may give tech buyers pause.

Also: New 2018 iPhone: All the rumors on specs, price, release date CNET

Here's what the next iPhone needs to keep up with premium Android smartphones

Previous and related coverage:

Galaxy Note 9: Nine ways it beats the iPhone

Samsung has come out swinging hard against the iPhone with the Galaxy Note 9, putting some significant pressure on Apple to raise its game with the next release.

Galaxy Note 9 event: First look at Samsung's new phone, Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Home

We're live-blogging imagery from Samsung Unpacked Galaxy 2018. This is your go-to spot if you want to see exactly what Samsung is unveiling at its event in New York City on Aug. 9.

Samsung finally got carriers to agree on same price for Note 9

It's a small detail, but worth pointing out: the Note 9 is the same price, regardless of where you buy it.

Seven new ways to use Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 Bluetooth S Pen

Samsung's Note fans are the most loyal and also have come to expect productivity from the S Pen. The Note 9's S Pen is the best ever and takes stylus usage to the next level.

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