Kuo Details 2018, 2019 iPhones, Expects Cheaper MacBook Air, Face ID iPads, and Larger-Screen Apple Watches Later This Year
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who now works at research firm TF International Securities, has issued a new research note today with a wealth of information about Apple's upcoming products and the company's overall outlook.
Highlights from the research note, obtained by MacRumors:
- Kuo believes 2019 iPhones will have "marked innovations," but notes it could take until September or October of this year at the earliest until the exact designs and features become clearer.
- Nevertheless, among new iPhones introduced in 2019, Kuo expects shipments of LCD-based models to outpace models with OLED displays. He also notes that, if any 2019 iPhones have triple-lens rear cameras, it would unsurprisingly benefit camera-related companies in Apple's supply chain.
- In the second half of 2018, Kuo still expects the releases of new iPad models equipped with Face ID, a new lower-price MacBook Air, and new Apple Watch models equipped with larger displays.
- Kuo also still expects three new iPhones in 2018: a second-generation iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch version that will essentially be a budget iPhone X.
- Kuo expects the 6.1-inch iPhone to be available in stores in September of this year, despite entering mass production later than the second-generation iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus. This means all three new iPhones in 2018 will be both announced and released in September.
- Kuo believes the 6.1-inch iPhone will incentivize customers with older iPhones to upgrade due to it being equipped with similar features as the iPhone X and at a more competitive price of $600 to $700 in the United States.
- Kuo on potential impact on Apple of the trade war between the United States and China: "We believe it is unlikely that Apple will be directly impacted by the trade war because it plays an important role in both China and US economy. It is worth monitoring whether Chinese consumers will reject buying Apple's products due to anti-American sentiment."
- Kuo on how Apple can grow under fiercer competition: "In the high-end market, Apple's real competitor is itself, which implies that it needs to offer new models that appeal to consumers to boost replacement demands. We attribute the iPhone's slow growth in recent years to there being no significant replacement demands boosted by new models after the iPhone 6."
- Kuo on Apple's innovation: "We believe that Apple is still the leading company in the consumer electronics sector and has surpassed its competitors by a wide margin in terms of innovative user experience and ecosystem development. The leading advantages will benefit it when innovating with new applications," like augmented reality.
Much of this reiterates Kuo's previous predictions and information shared by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman over the past several months.