Kuo: USB-C on 2018 iPad Pro, Touch ID on 2018 MacBook, EKG and Ceramic Backs on All Apple Watch Series 4 Models, More

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note today, obtained by MacRumors, that outlines several predictions about Apple's upcoming products, including new iPhone, iPad Pro, Apple Watch, and MacBook models.

kuo sep 12
Kuo expects Apple to replace Lightning with a USB-C interface on 2018 iPad Pro models, with an 18W power adapter in the box. That sure sounds like the next iPad Pro will have a USB-C port, instead of a Lightning connector, but to play devil's advocate, there's a chance he is just referring to a USB-C charger.

In addition to Face ID support, we expect the new iPad Pro models' main upgrade to include replacing Lightning with a USB-C interface and bundling with a new unibody design 18W power adapter, which cancels the removable plug design…

Kuo adds that 2018 iPhone models will retain the Lightning connector and remain bundled with a 5W power adapter, not the widely rumored 18W power adapter with a USB-C port, which could be for 2018 iPad Pro models after all.

His research note with TF International Securities adds that Apple's widely anticipated lower-priced MacBook may replace the current 12-inch MacBook. Again, the wording is somewhat ambiguous, so it's unclear if Kuo means the 12-inch MacBook will be refreshed, or if it will be entirely replaced.

Kuo expects the new lower-priced MacBook to support Touch ID fingerprint authentication, but without a full-out Touch Bar, which remains exclusive to select 13- and 15-inch models of the 2016 and later MacBook Pro:

The new low-price MacBook may replace the position of the current 12" MacBook. We expect this new model to support the Touch ID but it will not have the Touch Bar. Everwin Precision is the main beneficiary because it is the first time this company will enter the Mac casing supply chain and its shipments account for 20% of the new MacBook model's D parts.

As far as the Apple Watch Series 4 lineup is concerned, Kuo believes all models will feature ceramic backs, whereas GPS-only Series 3 have composite backs. Kuo also believes Series 4 models will have electrocardiography (ECG/EKG) functionality.

The new Apple Watch models will have narrower bezels, support electrocardiography (ECG), and all be equipped with ceramic backs (currently, some models are equipped with composite backs). We believe the new Apple Watch models will attract more users on supporting ECG. The ECG supplier is Osram (LED design)…

Kuo also said production of the rumored 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD has been postponed to late September to early October due to quality issues with the assembly and display, echoing a report from Mark Gurman earlier today.

Last, Kuo still expects Apple's long-awaited AirPower charging mat and new AirPods to be released by the end of the year.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 9, iPad Pro
Related Forums: MacBook, iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

BMcCoy Avatar
75 months ago
Where would we be without Ming?
Surprised, during Apple keynotes.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
corrado7 Avatar
75 months ago
If ipad gets USB-C, how will the apple pencil be charged? Another dongle?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
75 months ago
This will be a welcome addition in the long run, I dont think they care about convenience of carrying one charget right now. They will update the IPhone to USB C and kill lightning eventually. Also, remember they killed the headphone jack even though the majority of consumers didn't have wireless headphones.
I disagree that this will be a welcome addition. The USB Consortium and USB-IF come out with a new standard every other year. At least Apple provides some stability and long-term viability to their proprietary standards.

In the time period that Apple has had two mobile cable standards (Dock, Lightning), USB has had seven (Mini-A, Mini-B, Mini-AB, Micro-A, Micro-B, Micro-B SuperSpeed, and now Type C). So in approx 2003 to present, 15 years, USB averages a new plug type every other year. This is not a welcome addition. Most consumers don't want to buy new cables that often.

Even within USB-C, there is already a bunch of confusion because not all devices and not all cables support all the features of USB-C, such as PowerDelivery and AlternateMode. There is a newer "gen 2" spec that is supported sometimes. Thus, pairing USB-C cables to devices is actually quite confusing - there is no good way to know if a particular cable was made and tested to work with "gen 2" of USB-C.
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Right now I use a 29W USB-C power block with cable to lightning for my 1st gen 12.9 Ipad Pro (which I plan to update this Fall), so there is that possibility they could add that cable and leave the lightning port
I think this is most likely.

When these rumors talk about USB-C and iPad, everyone assumes it is the port on the iPad that will be changed to USB-C. No, it's the port on the charger that will be changed to USB-C, and the iPad will come with a USB-C to Lightning cable.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jarman92 Avatar
75 months ago
Too bad Lightning is sticking around on the iPhone. USB-C, ceramic backs and ECG functionality are all pretty interesting.
Not a chance in hell Apple replaces Lightning on the iPad. It doesn't make sense: if I were traveling with all updated Apple products I would need a Lightning cable for my iPhone and a USB-C cable for my iPad. Why?!
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iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac: no lightning ports; USB-C ports.

Standard iPad, iPhones, Airpods, Apple Pencil, Apple Mouse, Apple Wireless Keyboards: no USB-C ports; lightning ports/connectors

Current-gen MacBook Air, Mac Pro, Mac Mini: neither (though all three are rumoured to be updated shortly, likely to include USB-C ports)

Apple Watch: no ports; magnetic charger

There is too much fragmentation here...
Don't forget all the Apple accessories have Lightning ports: Magic Mouse/Keyboard, AirPods, Beats, etc. It makes no sense to switch the iPad to USB-C.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yesjam Avatar
75 months ago
iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac: no lightning ports; USB-C ports.

Standard iPad, iPhones, Airpods, Apple Pencil, Apple Mouse, Apple Wireless Keyboards: no USB-C ports; lightning ports/connectors

Current-gen MacBook Air, Mac Pro, Mac Mini: neither (though all three are rumoured to be updated shortly, likely to include USB-C ports)

Apple Watch: no ports; magnetic charger

There is too much fragmentation here...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
75 months ago
Any word on glucose monitoring?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)