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 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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
27 months ago

Where would we be without Ming?

Surprised, during Apple keynotes.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
If ipad gets USB-C, how will the apple pencil be charged? Another dongle?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 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.
[doublepost=1536590598][/doublepost]

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)
Avatar
27 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?!
[doublepost=1536590037][/doublepost]

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)
Avatar
27 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)
Avatar
27 months ago
Any word on glucose monitoring?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...