KGI Securities

'KGI Securities' Articles

Apple and Huawei Will Benefit Most From Note 7's Failure, but Profit May Have Already 'Peaked Out'

Apple and Huawei will be the biggest beneficiaries following the discontinuation of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 line, according to research conducted by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The two companies will mainly see orders increased by users looking for a smartphone with dual camera support, including Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and Huawei's upcoming Mate 9. While Kuo believes Apple will benefit majorly following Samsung's troubled Note 7, the analyst also says that those benefits are "largely reflected in raised forecasts," and not as much in actual iPhone shipping numbers. Of the original 12-14 million Note 7 units expected to ship in 2016 before the exploding battery drama, Kuo estimates 5-7 million Note 7 users may switch to iPhone, mainly expected to be the iPhone 7 Plus. Consumers that have switched from Note 7 to iPhone after the recall and halted production can be identified as having the following characteristics: (1) no trust in the Samsung brand anymore; (2) could be former iOS users; (3) like dual camera feature; and (4) like the subsidy packages of telecom operators (iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were the most promoted flagship models in September). Because of this, the analyst believes Apple's biggest benefits of the Note 7 discontinuation have already "peaked out." It's estimated that it will take Apple between 3 and 5 weeks to accommodate additional orders of the iPhone 7, especially "if the company does not expand the current production capacity of the iPhone 7 Plus." Right behind Apple, Kuo believes that Huawei will gain the second biggest benefit of the

2017 iPhone to Feature Glass Design With Stainless Steel Frame on High-End Models

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has outlined further predictions for next year's iPhone lineup, claiming the popularity of Jet Black models will encourage Apple to return to glass casing for 2017 models, as the material tends to have a higher gloss finish than metal.While a glossy finish is possible for metal casing, we identify two prerequisites for the 2017 new iPhone to be competitive in terms of casing design, considering competitors will definitely launch smartphone models with glossy metal or glass casing prior to Apple’s launch: (1) adoption of a glossy finish design; (2) enhanced productivity and higher yield will prevent a supply shortage, as has happened with jet black casing, which is manufactured at an unsatisfactory yield rate of 60-70% due to the metal material; and (3) better scratch resistance will improve user satisfaction. All things considered, we see glass casing as the only option.Kuo believes Apple is more likely to stick with slightly curved 2.5D cover glass on the 2017 iPhone, as used on iPhone 6s, rather than adopt a fully curved 3D design, in light of mass production considerations and drop test performance. Kuo previously said Apple will launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with a curved OLED display and glass casing next year, which a subsequent report said will be a high-end model. The other models would retain LCD displays with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes. Kuo said the new glass casing will be reinforced by an aluminum metal frame, while stainless steel will be used for high-end models.Metal frame can be stainless steel or aluminum, with

Jet Black iPhones Face Global Shortage as New Color Proves Difficult to Manufacture

Apple's new Jet Black color is a popular choice among early iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus adopters, but the new models face a global shortage as the new high-gloss finish has proven challenging for the company's manufacturers. Jet Black models suffer from a low casing production yield rate of 60-70%, meaning that 30-40% of units do not pass Apple's quality standards and must be retooled, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple says the high-gloss Jet Black finish is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process. When pre-orders began on September 9, shipping estimates for Jet Black models quickly slipped to November, but some iPhone 7 Plus models in the new color are now shipping sooner than expected. In-store availability of Jet Black models remains scarce, with only a few Apple Stores in France carrying the Jet Black iPhone 7 as of the time this article was published, according to iStockNow. Kuo said limited availability of Jet Black models, along with stronger-than-expected iPhone 7 Plus demand driven by Samsung's recent Galaxy Note 7 recall, contributed to an initial iPhone 7 shortage.Early shortage not entirely due to market demand. Shipment time for online orders is on par with last year’s cycle, generally estimated within 2-3 weeks, with the exception of the jet black model, which suffers from a low casing production yield rate of 60-70%. However, with the number of countries in the first wave to debut the iPhone 7 rising to 28 this year, versus 12 for the iPhone 6S launch, we believe overall demand for iPhone 7

Dual Rear Camera Likely to Remain Exclusive to High-End iPhones in 2017

On the same day the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus became available for pre-order, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report outlining his expectations for a dual rear camera in next year's iPhone model. According to Kuo, cost considerations and a niche appeal for the dual camera, which is found only on the larger iPhone 7 Plus model this year, mean that the feature is likely to remain exclusive to "high-end" models in 2017 as well. Presumably this means the dual camera would again appear only on so-called "iPhone 8 Plus" models should Apple continue to offer similar product lineups.While an attractive addition for avid picture takers and professional photographers, the iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera is not a mass-market killer application yet. Along with its high cost (estimated at over US$30-40) and the necessity for Apple to enhance the added value of high-end iPhone models, we expect only high-end new iPhone models (30-40% of them) to have a dual-camera next year. As for what improvements can be anticipated for the dual camera in 2017, Kuo indicates that optical image stabilization (OIS) is likely to be added to the telephoto camera. In the iPhone 7 Plus, only the wide-angle camera has OIS.Note that for the dual- camera of iPhone 7 Plus, wide-angle CCM is equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS) VCM, while telephoto CCM only comes with general VCM. We believe the focus of the dual-camera upgrade will be equipping telephoto CCM with OIS CCM, so as to significantly enhance optical and digital zoom quality.While 2017 would normally be considered an

iPhone 7 to Include Five Colors, IPX7 Water Resistance, Dual 12MP Cameras on Plus Model

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a very solid track record when it comes to Apple product rumors, has released his most detailed research report yet ahead of Wednesday's iPhone 7 launch. The report recaps a number of claims previously shared by Kuo and others while also introducing several new tidbits about the device. Kuo notes that there are many upgrades and other changes with the iPhone 7, but because the overall design is similar to the iPhone 6s, "general users may not feel the differences significantly." Details on the iPhone 7 include: - New A10 chip from TSMC that could top out at 2.4-2.45 GHz, although Apple may clock it a bit lower due to heat and power consumption concerns. - Storage capacities of 32 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB on both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 Plus will include 3 GB of DRAM to support the dual-lens camera, while the iPhone 7 will continue to include 2 GB. - Five color options including the usual silver, gold, and rose gold, along with a "dark black" replacing the usual Space Gray. A new fifth color Kuo describes as glossy "piano black" will also be offered. A photo of SIM trays in those five colors surfaced earlier this week. We expect the iPhone 7 to come in piano black, dark black, rose gold, gold and silver. Only the piano black model will have a glossy finish. Given high production barriers, large-storage models may have first priority in adopting piano black casing in the initial stage.- Improved IPX7 water resistance matching that of the original Apple Watch and making the device suitable for

Apple Planning 10.5" iPad Pro in 2017, 'Revolutionary' OLED iPad as Soon as 2018

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report outlining his expectations for the future of Apple's iPad lineup, predicting three new iPads ranging from 9.7 inches to 12.9 inches to be released in 2017. According to Kuo, Apple is aiming to introduce a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model next year to go along with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a "low-cost" 9.7-inch iPad model. Kuo makes no mention about the fate of the current 7.9-inch iPad mini, although many have assumed that model may be phased out as the recent 5.5-inch iPhone "Plus" models have helped lessen demand for Apple's smallest tablet.We expect three new iPads (12.9” iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5” iPad Pro & low-cost 9.7” iPad) to be launched in 2017, though this may not drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds; 2017F shipments to fall 10-20% YoY. If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5” model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5” iPad Pro in 2017. In addition, we estimate the 12.9” iPad Pro 2 and 10.5” iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7” model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.Looking even further ahead, Kuo predicts "revolutionary" changes for the iPad lineup for 2018 "at the earliest," with Apple making "radical" changes to the iPad's design and shifting to an AMOLED display.Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at

Upgraded Apple Watch 1 Models Said to Launch Alongside Apple Watch 2 Later This Year

In addition to predicting an all-new Apple Watch 2 with a GPS, barometer, larger battery, and more, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today claimed that upgraded first-generation Apple Watch models with faster TSMC-built processors and superior waterproofing will likely launch in the second half of 2016. Kuo said the upgraded Apple Watch 1 models will not have a GPS, barometer, or other larger additions reserved for the Apple Watch 2, nor will the waterproofing improvements be as significant, suggesting only an incremental refresh of internal hardware. The watches are said to retain a similar form factor. The well-connected analyst expects another Apple Watch price cut once the new models are launched, but he did not specify whether the reduction will apply to existing first-generation models, upgraded first-generation models, Apple Watch 2 models, or some combination of the three lineups. Apple lowered the starting price of the Apple Watch Sport to $299 in March 2016, a savings of $50 compared to the device's initial $349 launch price in April

Faster Apple Watch 2 With GPS, Barometer, Larger Battery, and Same Thickness to Launch Later This Year

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note to investors today in which he predicts an all-new Apple Watch 2 will likely launch in the second half of 2016 with a faster TSMC-built processor, GPS, barometer, superior waterproofing, and a higher capacity battery. Kuo, well connected within the supply chain, believes the second-generation Apple Watch will retain the same screen sizes and thickness as existing models, with a similar form factor overall, despite adopting thinner display technology. However, while the Apple Watch 2 was once rumored to include cellular connectivity, Kuo does not expect LTE support until 2017. The analyst also predicted that upgraded first-generation Apple Watch models will debut in the second half of 2016 with similar processor and waterproofing upgrades, but likely without the Apple Watch 2's most significant additions like a GPS and barometer. Kuo expects another Apple Watch price cut once the new models are launched, but remains conservative about prospective shipments in 2017. Apple Watch shipments could rise further between 2018 and 2020, pending significant form factor changes, FDA approvals supporting more medical and health applications, and 5G network commercialization, according to Kuo. Apple has been pushing iPhone and Apple Watch sales together, so updated models of each device launching in tandem would be appropriate. The tentatively named iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are rumored to launch on September 16, with pre-orders possibly starting a week earlier on September 9, so all-new Apple Watch 2 and upgraded

2016 MacBook Pro May Include OLED Display Touch Bar and Touch ID

Apple plans to introduce a revamped high-end MacBook Pro this year that'll include a thinner and lighter form factor, Touch ID and a new OLED display touch bar above the keyboard, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The new MacBook Pro would come in 13- and 15-inch variations and arrive in the fourth quarter of 2016. While long overlooked, the MacBook line is the brightest spot for Apple’s 2016 rollouts. This is particularly true of the two new MacBook Pro models, to be introduced in 4Q16, as they will have a thinner and lighter form factor, Touch ID, use OLED display touch bar (to replace physical function keys, located above the keyboard) and adopt USB- C / Thunderbolt 3.Kuo calls the new MacBook Pro updates the "most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple." The new "thin and light" design will be helped by new metal injection mold-made hinges and the butterfly-mechanism keyboards that debuted in the 12-inch MacBook. There has been speculation Apple would introduce Touch ID to MacBooks and, in the meantime, Apple engineers are working on a way users could unlock their Macs with Touch ID on iPhone. The 12-inch MacBook will also be joined by a 13-inch MacBook, according to Kuo. The analyst believes that Apple will move forward with all three MacBook lines this year, with the MacBook Pro occupying the high-end slot, the MacBook will replace the Air as the medium-level model and the MacBook Air will serve as an entry-level model with comparatively low prices. In April, it was reported that the new MacBook Pros would see slimmer

Apple to Produce Single iPhone 7 Plus Model With Dual-Lens Camera and 3GB RAM

Apple plans to produce a single iPhone 7 Plus that will ship with a dual-lens camera and 3GB of RAM to compensate for increased image processing demands, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that walks back from past reports suggesting Apple would produce two iPhone 7 Plus models. Earlier rumors from Kuo indicated Apple was working on multiple versions of the iPhone 7 Plus -- a model with a single lens camera to match the iPhone 7 and a second "Pro" model with a dual-lens camera -- but Kuo now believes this is no longer Apple's plan as a single-camera iPhone 7 Plus would undermine demand for the dual-camera model. Apple is expected to continue producing two iPhone models, in 4.7 and 5.5-inch sizes.In a previous report, we said the new 5.5-inch iPhone model (referred to as iPhone 7 Plus), to be launched in 2H16, may come in two versions: one with rear single-camera and the other with rear dual-camera. However, we now believe Apple (US) will only roll out the dual-camera version in 2H16, with 3GB RAM to meet image processing requirements, and we estimate shipments of this model in 2016F of 20-30mn units.Kuo does not foresee any significant supply bottlenecks that would affect production of the dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus, but because of design constraints, he predicts optical zoom capabilities, which have been previously rumored for the device, will be limited. Today's report from Kuo follows the leak of design blueprints said to be sourced from Apple supplier Catcher Technology, which suggest that the iPhone 7 Plus will also exclusively

Decline in iPhone Shipments Could Make Apple Worst-Performing Top Five Smartphone Brand of 2016

Apple's global iPhone shipments will fall short of analysts' consensus estimates of 210 to 230 million units in the 2016 fiscal year, according to a new research note issued by respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a worst case scenario, iPhone shipments in 2016 are expected to reach just 190 million units, which is an 18% reduction in shipment growth and 3 million fewer iPhones than Apple sold in 2014. Even in a best case scenario, said Kuo, Apple is expected to sell 205 million units, 5 million short of the lower end of analysts' estimate range and amounting to a 11.6% reduction in growth. Regardless of the best or worst case scenario, Kuo predicts Apple will underperform the industry and become the only global top-five smartphone brand to see shipments decline in 2016. Mockup of iPhone 7 case. The analyst described slowing market demand for large-screen handset replacements and limited iPhone 7 selling points as key factors behind the expected decline, noting that the contribution of revised-up iPhone SE shipments in the 2016 fiscal year will remain "insignificant". Given the fact that shipments fell YoY for the first time in 1Q16, we don't think large-screen replacement demand will contribute much to growth. To sustain growth, the iPhone needs to come up with more innovative features to revitalize the user experience, for example in form factor design, software and hardware specs. We don't see many attractive selling points for iPhone 7 in 2H16 and are conservative on 2H16F shipments. While we revise up 2016F iPhone SE shipments from 12mn to 18mn

Apple to Release iPhone With Glass Casing and AMOLED Screen in 2017

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report that again predicts Apple will switch to non-aluminum casing, with glass being the most likely candidate, for the majority of new iPhone models starting in 2017. If accurate, the design change would not apply to the iPhone 7 expected to launch this September. Specifically, Kuo believes that in order to differentiate iPhone from an increasing number of competing aluminum smartphones, Apple will return to iPhone 4s-like glass casing next year to allow for an all-new form-factor design. The switch would allow Apple to again "enhance the competitiveness" and innovation of iPhone.If iPhone 7 still uses an aluminum casing in 2016, it will be the fifth year in a row that iPhone has done so, which means there is no longer a feeling of freshness to appeal to consumers. Also, a lot of Apple’s (US) competitors are also adopting aluminum casings, which means iPhone no longer has a clear edge due to a lack of differentiation. On expectations that iPhone shipments will decline in 2016, we believe Apple will be more strongly motivated to use non-aluminum casings in 2017 in a bid to enhance the competitiveness of iPhone by offering an all-new form-factor design. The oft-reliable analyst adds that the ratio of new iPhone models using aluminum casing will likely drop from 100% currently to 40% or less, indicating that some aluminum-based iPhones will likely remain available for at least the short term. This could be older models like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 series. Kuo notes that some investors are concerned that glass

Apple Watch 2 Expected to Focus on Internal Upgrades Rather Than External Changes, Launch in Late 2016

Apple Watch shipments will decline more than 25 percent year-over-year in comparison to 2015, according to a new research note issued by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The wearable device sold an estimated 10.6 million units in eight months last year, but Kuo predicts that even with the launch of the Apple Watch 2, and a full twelve months of sales, the device's shipments will still come in at less than 7.5 million units in 2016. The analyst describes an "immature wearable device market" and a few key lacking features of the first-generation Apple Watch -- iPhone independency, no killer app, limited battery life, etc. -- that will contribute to its overall sales decline prior to the launch of the second-generation version. Kuo believes that the Apple Watch 2 will enter mass production in the third quarter of 2016, in line with a fall launch alongside the iPhone 7, so its overall contribution to shipping numbers for the year is predicted to be limited. Kuo's note also predicts some of the features of the next version of the Apple Watch, which is expected to adopt the same upgrade cycle as the iPhone. In essence, 2016's Apple Watch 2 will see some under-the-hood spec improvements and possibly minor form factor changes, while fans will have to wait until 2017 for a massively redesigned wearable from Apple. The similar design is one of Kuo's biggest reasons for declining Apple Watch shipments in 2016, despite even the uptick in sales the device could have during the holiday season. The recent KGI Securities research note directly conflicts with a report from

iPhone SE Sales Forecasted as 'Lackluster' Over First Weekend

While it appears that Apple has elected not to share first weekend sales numbers for the iPhone SE, as it has done in the past for some flagship models, multiple analysts have forecasted that sales of the new 4-inch smartphone were "lackluster" during its first three to four days of availability. In a research note issued today, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo questioned last week's CNBC report claiming that iPhone SE orders topped 3.4 million in China, and added that demand for the iPhone SE "has been significantly lower than that of past new models" since launching on March 31.Lackluster iPhone SE demand supports our view. Although there exists a market survey that indicates iPhone SE preorders top 3.4mn units in China, we couldn’t find more evidence to support this. However, judging by the delivery time for iPhone SE preorders, we believe initial demand for the iPhone SE following the announcement has been significantly lower than that of past new models. We believe this is due in part to lackluster demand for smaller-size smartphones and, more importantly, that the product itself offers no significant upgrades to form factor or hardware specs.Mobile analytics firm Localytics echoed Kuo, claiming that iPhone SE adoption was "lackluster" following the device's launch. According to the firm's research, the iPhone SE "managed to grab only 0.1% of the iPhone market" over its first weekend of sales, which marked lower adoption than the iPhone 5s and all of the "6" models. Apple launched the iPhone SE last Thursday on the same day as Tesla began accepting

Dual Camera Said to Be Exclusive to 5.5-Inch iPhone 7

Dual cameras will be exclusive to Apple's next-generation 5.5-inch iPhone, according to a new research note issued by respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.New iPhone shipments to be capped by similar form factor as iPhone 6s & 6s Plus; top hardware upgrade is dual-camera (5.5-inch model only), though many competing models with dual-camera will launch soon, joining others already on the market; first impressions could underwhelm.Rumors surrounding dual-camera iPhones have gained momentum since January, when Kuo said that Apple has both single- and dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus models in development. Recent reports have been unclear, however, about whether the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 will also have dual cameras. Leaks surrounding the rumored dual cameras have been limited to a blurry photo of the purported iPhone 7 Plus (or iPhone Pro?) and a possible dual-lens module appropriate for the 5.5-inch smartphone. Apple reportedly received dual-lens camera samples from suppliers for testing purposes in February. LinX Technology multi-aperture camera modules The rumored camera improvements have been linked to Apple's acquisition of LinX Technology, which could lead to "DSLR-quality" photos on iPhones. LinX's multi-aperture cameras are also smaller sized than single-aperture cameras, meaning the iPhone 7 Plus could have a slightly less protruding camera lens. LinX camera modules have a number of other benefits, including 3D depth mapping, better color accuracy and uniformity, ultra HDR, low noise levels, higher resolution, low costs, zero shutter lag, and a compact design

New 4" iPhone With 12MP Camera Said to Cost $400-$500, iPhone 5s to Receive 50% Price Cut

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research note to investors, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, in which he claims Apple's next-generation 4-inch iPhone will feature a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, as opposed to an 8-megapixel sensor as previously rumored. Kuo also reiterated that the new 4-inch iPhone will have other similar hardware specs as the iPhone 6s, including an A9 chip and NFC for Apple Pay. The device's form factor is expected to be similar to the iPhone 5s, although the display is said to have slightly curved 2.5D glass like the iPhone 6 and newer. Apple's new 4-inch iPhone could also feature 16GB and 64GB storage capacities, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Live Photos support, and a slightly larger 1,642 mAh battery compared to the iPhone 5s. 3D Touch will likely remain exclusive to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as a differentiating feature. The well-informed analyst continues to believe the smartphone will cost between $400 and $500 in the United States. The lower price point should help Apple target the mid- to low-price segment and drive iPhone sales in emerging markets such as China and India. Comparatively, the larger iPhone 6s starts at $649. KGI Securities expects total 4-inch iPhone shipments to grow 131% year-over-year to 37 million units in 2016, on the strength of the new 4-inch iPhone launch and a 50% price cut on the iPhone 5s. Apple currently sells the iPhone 5s for $450 at full retail price, so the smartphone may soon be discounted to $225. The research firm has lowered its new 4-inch iPhone

iPhone 7 Plus Likely to Have Dual-Lens Camera Based on LinX Technology

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research note obtained by MacRumors that predicts two 5.5-inch versions of the "iPhone 7 Plus" are in development, one with a single iSight rear-facing camera and another boasting a dual-camera design. The rumored iPhone 7 Plus model with a dual-lens camera system would take advantage of imaging algorithms that Apple acquired through its purchase of Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging last year. iPhone 7 mockup with dual-lens camera system (Image: Computer Bild) LinX technology offers several improvements the iPhone 7 Plus could benefit from, including multiple sensors for a smaller size, possibly eliminating the need for a protruding camera lens. The lenses would also have better sensitivity to light and greatly improved image quality in low light. Specifically, Kuo cites the LinX Imaging algorithm for its unique ability to achieve high-end dual-camera applications such as optical zoom simulation while sidestepping the traditional bottlenecks associated with compact camera module (CCM) assembly. To that end, Kuo expects a 2-3x optical zoom function to feature in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus. However, owing to supply chain constraints on dual-camera modules, the KGI analyst expects the larger handset to come in single-camera and dual-camera versions. Apple is well known for headlining improvements to the camera technology in its iPhones and showcasing their photography capabilities as a market-leading feature. Even so, major improvements to camera technology have typically come in "S" release

No 3D Touch for iPad Air 3 Due in First Half of 2016, iPhone 7’s 3D Touch Tech Similar to iPhone 6s

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research note obtained by MacRumors that predicts the iPad Air 3 will be released in the first half of 2016 and is unlikely to adopt 3D Touch because of production issues within Apple's supply chain. Kuo also believes the iPhone 7's pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display will have "similar technology and structure" as the iPhone 6s. The report confirms the iPhone 7 will be released in 2016, likely around Apple's usual September timeframe. Apple could unveil the iPad Air 3 at its rumored March 2016 event, where it is expected to introduce a new 4-inch iPhone and the second-generation Apple Watch. Apple last held a March 2015 event to announce the 12-inch Retina MacBook and Apple Watch pricing and release date information. Apple often releases new iPads in the fall, but it did not announce the iPad Air 3 at its eventful September 2015 keynote, instead focusing its efforts on introducing the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, Apple TV 4 and Apple Watch Hermès. Apple announced the iPad Air 2 in October 2014. Apple introduced the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in September with 3D Touch as a headline new feature. The pressure-sensing technology enables iPhone users to perform additional "Peek" and "Pop" gestures to access Quick Action shortcut menus or preview content within apps. 3D Touch also enables iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users to press the left side of the Home screen to switch to multitasking view, press lightly for finer lines or more deeply for thicker ones in Notes, swipe left or right to

New A9-Based 4-Inch iPhone Expected to Launch Early 2016 With Apple Pay and Colorful Metal Casing

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research note corroborating rumors that Apple will release a new 4-inch iPhone next year, which he believes will resemble an upgraded iPhone 5s and launch in early 2016. While new model may not generate huge sales, Apple still has good reasons to launch. These are: (1) still-existing demand for 4-inch smartphones. We estimate 15-17mn 4-inch iPhones will be shipped in 2015. We estimate the new 4-inch model will account for 8-9% of total iPhone shipments in 2016F; (2) expected price of US$400-500, with the aim of penetrating emerging markets and consumers on smaller budgets; and (3) adoption of NFC will support Apple Pay, benefiting the ecosystem. Kuo expects the new 4-inch iPhone to have an A9 chip manufactured by both TSMC and Samsung, 2.5D cover glass with curved edges like on the iPhone 6s, NFC for Apple Pay, metal casing with at least two to three color options, and identical camera specs to the iPhone 5s -- an 8-MP rear-facing camera and 1.2-MP front shooter. Kuo forecasted that full-year shipments of the new 4-inch iPhone will reach 20 million units, with production beginning in the first quarter of 2016. The research note said the new 4-inch iPhone could be priced at between $400 and $500 in the U.S., which would be $149 to $249 cheaper than the 16GB iPhone 6s. The analyst also reaffirmed that the iPhone 6s may not outsell the iPhone 6, with a possible 30%-40% decline in quarter-over-quarter shipments, based on recently slowed orders within the supply chain. Kuo believes the new 4-inch iPhone could help the

iPhone Unlikely to Adopt AMOLED Display in Foreseeable Future

Apple is unlikely to adopt AMOLED displays for next-generation iPhones in the foreseeable future, according to often-reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The analyst believes Apple will continue using TFT-LCD display technology for at least the next three years -- and likely beyond. Kuo claims that Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, is preparing to invest in advanced TFT-LCD production lines in China for mass production in 2018, and coupled with recent comments made by iPhone backlight supplier Minebea, the analyst believes iPhones will continue using TFT-LCD displays in the future.Based on recent comments by Minebea, one of the main iPhone backlight unit suppliers, we believe AMOLED will not penetrate iPhone for the next three years. Moreover, Hon Hai is preparing to invest in Gen-6 LTPS TFT-LCD production lines in Zhengzhou, China for mass production in 2018, suggesting the iPhone line will likely stick with TFT-LCD technology in 2018 and thereafter. […] Minebea, major BLU supplier of iPhone, stated to investors on November 5 that it does not foresee risk of TFT-LCD share loss to AMOLED in high-end smartphone market in next three years & guides growth in TFT-LCD going forward. As Apple and Samsung are the only two brands that currently offer premium smartphones, we think Minebea’s statements imply it does not expect iPhone to adopt AMOLED in the coming three years, given that Samsung’s models are already being equipped with it.Taiwanese website DigiTimes, citing a report in the Korea-based ET News, said in late October