Rumor: Apple supply chain looking to cut iPhone X costs in 2018, reducing consumer prices

By Mike Wuerthele

A new report from the Chinese supply chain suggests that Apple has been developing the 2018 model-year iPhones to include many if not all of the iPhone X technologies, in new models said to be codenamed "Lisbon" and "Hangzhou."

A report from the Chinese-language Economic Daily published on Thursday cites unnamed sources within the supply chain for the codenames, and Apple's intent. The primary driver for the migration to less expensive phones is said to be price sensitivity in the Chinese market -- but presumably the migration would assist sales figures elsewhere as well.

Should the "Lisbon" and "Hangzhou" code names be accurate, they would be the first city name-based ones for the iPhone. The iPhone 8 was said to be called Ferrari, but most iPhones have alphanumeric code names like D22 for the iPhone X -- and D20 for the iPhone 8.

Japanese site Macotakara believes that a 10,000 yen price decrease ($90) is possible with the new model -- generally consistent with year-over-year model refreshes. Not discussed in either report is the fate of the iPhone X itself if the technologies are migrated to the lower-end models.

This is the first year that Apple has introduced two families of phone during the same event. While there is a main difference between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X in the camera systems, the iPhone X has a much larger evolutionary gap with the Super Retina OLED screen and the Face ID system supplanting Touch ID.

Apple's iPhone X starts at $999 with 64GB of storage. Peorders begin on Oct. 27 with the first shipments arriving on Nov. 3.