KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his recent report came up with his 10 predictions for the upcoming Apple iPhone. KGI who have been a reliable source in the past states that there will be the usual 4.7inch and 5.5inch models with LCD panels along with a third iPhone with an OLED display.
As per the report, the 4.7inch and the 5.5 inch models will be iterational upgrades following Apple's 'S' line-up, resembling the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While the OLED iPhone will be the one to watch out for as the anniversary edition iPhone.
Kuo predicts that the OLED iPhone will have a 5.8-inch display, claiming that the usable screen area will be around 5.2-inches, giving it the highest screen-to-body ratio on any phone. The top of the OLED model will have what is referred to as the 'notch' which accomadates the earpiece and the forward facing camera. Kuo also mentions that a ‘function area’ will replace the home button on the bottom of the phone. This suggests that the footprint of the OLED model will be of the same footprint as the 4.7 inch iPhone 7.
Another major prediction by Kuo is the possible ommission of a fingerprint reader, pushing aside rumours of an embedded scanner. Instead of moving it to the back or putting it on the Power key, Kuo believes that Apple will replace Touch ID with a 3D facial sensing camera. As a bonus of which, the front camera will be much improved in terms of quality.
The KGI analyst cites two reasons for Apple not choosing to opt for an embedded scanner stating, "We predict the OLED model won’t support fingerprint recognition, reasons being: (1) the full-screen design doesn’t work with existing capacitive fingerprint recognition, and (2) the scan-through ability of the under-display fingerprint solution still has technical challenges."
Kuo predicts that the OLED iPhone and the 5.5inch LCD iPhone will both come with 3GB of RAM, owing to dual-camera requirements, while 4.7inch version will come with 2GB of DRAM. KGI suggests that all three new iPhones will come in 64 GB and 256 GB storage options while adding, "For optimized promotional effect, we think Apple may unveil the three models simultaneously in September, though the launch date of the OLED version may trail that of LCD models, and supply tightness may not improve before 2018."
Talking about other additions to the OLED iPhone, Apple will apparently improve the consistency of the speaker and the receiver to create more balanced stereo sounds. KGI also thinks that the OLED iPhone 8 will be offered in fewer colors than the normal iPhone lineup to maintain a "boutique" branding. All three models will also have a Lightning port, with an embedded USB-C power delivery IC for improved charging efficiency.
KGI expects Apple to move 80-85 million iPhones by the end of 2017, half of which will be iPhone 8 units.