For quite a while now, it has been believed that Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) upcoming premium OLED iPhone (as well as the two "standard" models that are expected to launch this year) would come in two storage configurations: 64GB and 256GB.
That information came from two independent and generally reliable sources: TrendForce and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
However, a new leak -- this time from the founder of smartphone repair company GeekBar on social media (via MacRumors) -- suggests that the OLED iPhone will come not in two storage configurations, but three: 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
If this is true -- and I don't think it's unrealistic -- then that's great news for everyone. Here's why.
Getting more from Apple's highest-paying customers
I'd venture a guess that the most enthusiastic of Apple's customers are going to be willing to spend the big bucks that it'll reportedly cost to buy one of the OLED iPhone models rather than one of the "standard" models equipped with liquid crystal displays (LCDs).
Those enthusiastic customers probably use their iPhones more intensely than the average user. That could mean that such users download more apps, shoot more pictures, and take more (and higher-resolution) videos than, perhaps, a typical iPhone buyer.
Such enthusiastic iPhone users may find value in paying Apple a little extra (especially since they're already spending so much on the device anyway) for the peace of mind and perceived device longevity that 512GB of storage can deliver.
There are also those individuals who simply want to have "the best," even if they're not likely to make use of the additional storage, and they'll buy the top-tier iPhone model to get "the best."
By introducing a 512GB OLED iPhone, Apple would be able to drive its iPhone average selling prices up further -- always a good thing, as higher iPhone average selling prices ultimately translate into better revenue and profit growth for the company.
Why 512GB should be limited to OLED iPhone
I don't think Apple should (or, frankly, will) introduce LCD iPhone models with 512GB of storage this year. Customers that aren't willing to fork over the extra to go for the high-end OLED iPhone probably aren't interested in paying a premium for a 512GB iPhone.
Further, while I think the OLED iPhone's core features will be more than enough to push many customers to buy it rather than the cheaper LCD models, reserving 512GB of storage exclusively for the OLED iPhone just gives potential users another reason to pick the OLED iPhone.
And, finally, Apple is reportedly having a hard time sourcing all the 3D NAND flash that it needs for the upcoming iPhone models. Given what is very obviously a tight industrywide 3D NAND supply situation, it makes sense to limit the 512GB option to a relatively expensive device.
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