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'KGI Securities' Articles

iPhone 8 Will Include 'Revolutionary' Front Camera With 3D Sensing Abilities

The rumored "iPhone 8" with an edge-to-edge OLED display will gain a "revolutionary" front-facing camera system that consists of three modules that enable fully-featured 3D sensing capabilities, according to new predictions shared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The upgraded camera system will be fueled by PrimeSense algorithms, which Apple acquired in 2013. The three modules include an existing front camera module of current iPhones, an infrared transmitting module, and an infrared receiving module. Using these advancements, the camera will be able to find the location and depth of objects placed in front of it, with potential applications including facial and iris recognition. The camera will function by merging the depth information captured by the IR transmitting and receiving modules with the traditional 2D images captured by the front camera. This not only could be used for the iPhone 8's long-rumored iris recognition feature, but even in some gaming applications -- and future AR/VR experiences -- where users could place their own 3D-scanned face in the game using a quick selfie. Today's news of an overhaul to the front-facing camera of the iPhone 8 follows speculation surrounding the potential of Apple dropping Touch ID and instead focusing on either 3D facial recognition or iris scanning as the device's main security feature. JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall has stated that facial recognition could be a more secure alternative, and help increase Apple Pay adoption with retailers and financial institutions. According to Kuo, this three-module

iPhone 8 Said to Pack Battery Capacity of Current 5.5-Inch Model Into 4.7-Inch Form Factor

The so-called "iPhone 8" will adopt a higher-cost stacked logic board design to support longer battery life, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo said the stacked logic board, also known as a "substrate-like PCB mainboard," will result in the "iPhone 8" with an OLED display having similar dimensions to a 4.7-inch iPhone, yet comparable battery life to a 5.5-inch iPhone. He expects the device to have around a 2,700 mAh L-shaped two-cell battery pack.As battery material tech isn’t likely to see major breakthroughs in the next 3-5 years, mainboard area can only be reduced via stacked SLP, which makes space for larger battery and extended usage time. Thanks to stacked SLP, we expect the OLED iPhone to have similar dimensions to a 4.7” TFT-LCD iPhone, and have comparable battery capacity (equipped with around 2,700 mAh L-shaped 2-cell battery pack) to a 5.5” TFT-LCD iPhone. The battery life of the OLED iPhone could be better than that of the 5.5” TFT-LCD model as OLED panels are more energy-efficient than their TFT-LCD counterparts.Kuo added that the battery life of "iPhone 8" with an OLED display could be better than that of a 5.5" model with a traditional LCD display, as OLED panels are more energy-efficient than their LCD counterparts. For comparison, the iPhone 7 has a 1,960 mAh battery and the iPhone 7 Plus has a 2,900 mAh

All Three New 2017 iPhones to Feature Wireless Charging

Apple is widely rumored to launch three new iPhones this year, and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now claims that all of them will feature wireless charging. iPhone 8 concept by UI/UX designer Moe Slah Kuo said wireless charging increases the internal temperature of smartphones, so he expects the rumored iPhone 8 with an OLED display and glass casing to have a new 3D Touch module with "additional graphite sheet lamination" in order to prevent the device from malfunctioning due to overheating. An excerpt from Kuo's research note obtained by MacRumors:While we don’t expect general users to notice any difference, lamination of an additional graphite sheet is needed for better thermal control and, thus, steady operation; this is because FPCB is replaced with film, which is more sensitive to temperature change of the 3D touch sensor in OLED iPhone.The new 3D Touch module could be up to $5 more expensive for Apple to procure per phone. While that is a minimal increase, it lends further credence to a report claiming the high-end iPhone 8 could cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States due to a significant redesign and the use of premium parts. Kuo previously said Apple will switch to all-glass casing for next year's entire iPhone lineup, including the more iterative 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus, in order to support wireless charging. It remains unclear if the wireless charging will be based on long-range or inductive technologies

Apple Exploring Two-Step Touch ID and Facial Recognition System for iPhone 8

Noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research report today in which he outlined further expectations for Apple's 2017 iPhone, including new biometric identification technology as well as the necessity of a new design to provide better structural support for a flexible OLED display with 3D Touch capability. Apple may switch to a film sensor from the current FPCB sensor in order to provide better 3D Touch user experience, as a film sensor offers higher sensitivity. Also, we expect the new OLED iPhone will come with a flexible OLED panel. To avoid deforming the form factor of the flexible OLED panel from touch operation pressure, a metal structural part will be placed under the film sensor to provide more robust structural support.Kuo also believes Apple is developing a new Touch ID technology for its next iPhone "to complement its full-screen (zero bezel) form factor design and to enhance transactions security". According to Kuo, the existing "under glass" design of fingerprint recognition doesn't meet the requirements of full-screen form factor designs, therefore an "under panel" placement is required. As a result, Kuo says Apple aims to switch from the current capacitive-type to an optical-type system. Despite the technology still being in the early stages of development and the fact that OLED panel makers will have to provide bespoke designs for the system to work, Kuo believes Apple has the bargaining power to request the customizations. Notably, Kuo believes the fingerprint recognition system will "ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition

New 15-Inch MacBook Pro With Kaby Lake and 32GB of Desktop-Class RAM Coming Later This Year

Apple will release updated Mac notebooks with Intel's next-generation Kaby Lake processors later this year, according to the latest research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo said new 12-inch MacBook models with Kaby Lake processors will enter mass production in the early second quarter, which starts in March, and noted a 16GB of RAM option could be added—presumably as a high-end or built-to-order configuration. The two current 12-inch MacBook configurations include 8GB of RAM. Likewise, Kuo said new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Kaby Lake processors will start mass production in the early third quarter, which starts in July. The research note did not specify how much RAM these models will have, but 16GB could remain the limit due to the restrictions of current memory designs. Interestingly, Kuo also mentions a "15-inch MacBook" that will include 32GB of RAM and enter mass production in the early fourth quarter, which starts in September. He said this model will be "the most significantly redesigned product this year," and he believes it will adopt desktop-class RAM to satisfy high-end users. Given the high-end specifications, it is likely that this 15-inch MacBook would be part of the MacBook Pro lineup, but Kuo did not specify. Beyond faster processors and increased memory, Kuo said most other specifications and the design of all of the notebooks will be similar to equivalent models released in 2016. Kuo believes the new Kaby Lake notebooks will be power efficient, which may positively affect shipments. He estimates that

Size of Apple's New 'High End' iPad Pro Model Said to be Between 10 and 10.5-Inches

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report underlining his expectations for the future of Apple's iPad line-up, with slightly revised predictions for a new "high-end" middle-size tablet to be released later this year. According to Kuo, Apple is planning to introduce three iPads in 2017: a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a "low-cost" 9.7-inch iPad, along with a new bezel-free, mid-size model in the range of between 10 and 10.5 inches. We note the 12.9" model will be the second generation of the existing 12.9" iPad Pro, the 10-10.5" model will be the high-end model equipped with a narrow bezel design, and the 9.7" model will be the low-priced option. The former two models will have an A10X chip manufactured by TSMC (2330 TT, NT$183.5, N), while the latter comes with an A9 chip made by Samsung LSI. Although we estimate iPad shipments in 2017 will drop again YoY to 35-37mn units, we except the decline to narrow to 10% from 2016's roughly 20%, given that the 10-10.5" model may see more demand from commercial/enterprises and tender markets, while the low-priced 9.7" model may have a greater shipment contribution and likely account for 50-60% of total shipments of new iPads. Last August, Kuo's expectation for Apple's mid-size model was a more definite 10.5 inches. His latest revised prediction of 10-10.5 inches suggests Apple is still testing multiple tablets and has yet to settle on a final size. Interestingly, Japanese site Mac Otakara released two separate reports last year stating that the tablet will be 10.1 inches and 10.9 inches, so while the former size

4.7-Inch iPhone to Feature Wireless Charging Next Year

Apple's next-generation 4.7-inch iPhone will feature glass casing with wireless charging, according to the latest research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors.Our rationale is as follows: (1) the OLED model may trigger replacement demand among high-end users given its completely all-new-design form factor and notably superior specs in comparison to the TFT-LCD models; and (2) the new 4.7” iPhone, featuring glass casing and wireless charging, looks well positioned to tap replacement demand at the entry level.Kuo previously said all new iPhones are "likely" to support wireless charging next year, so 5.5-inch and all-new OLED models will likely gain the feature as well in addition to the now-confirmed 4.7-inch model. Kuo believes Apple will switch to glass casing for next year's entire iPhone lineup in order to support wireless charging, with Pegatron being the exclusive supplier of the new 4.7-inch iPhone and a wireless charger expected to be included with at least some models. The wireless charger will allegedly have wider availability by 2018. The new 4.7-inch iPhone and an OLED model featuring a "completely all-new-design form factor and notably superior specs" are predicted to drive "potentially unprecedented replacement demand" from smartphone users. Kuo forecasts Apple could sell 120-150 million new iPhones in the back half of 2017, topping an iPhone 6 sales record.To our understanding, while demand visibility in 2H17F is as yet unclear and presumed pull-in demand may change anytime, upstream suppliers may be around now setting

iPhone 8 to Feature All-Glass Casing in Order to Support Wireless Charging

Apple will switch to an all-glass casing for next year's entire iPhone lineup in order to support wireless charging, with Pegatron being the exclusive supplier of the wireless charger. That's according to the latest research note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, the transition from metal to glass casing is key if Apple is to introduce a wireless charging feature in the 2017 iPhone. While patented engineering solutions do exist for wirelessly charging devices with metal cases, issues with wireless frequency tolerances for metal alloys can limit the speed at which charging takes place. On top of that, it is widely believed that Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years. iPhone concept image via ConceptsiPhone We believe one of the reasons why new iPhones will switch from metal casing to glass casing is to support wireless charging. In order to ensure a superior performance, we believe it is most appropriate for EMS suppliers to develop and make the wireless charger because then a comprehensive test can be conducted. As Hon Hai needs to deploy most resources to develop and produce OLED iPhone, we expect Pegatron will be the exclusive supplier of the wireless charger.Kuo remains uncertain whether a wireless charger will be bundled with all new iPhones, but expects at least some models to be next year, with wider availability by 2018. Kuo last week claimed that Apple will release 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model iPhones with LCD screens as well as an all-new OLED model

Next Year's Dual-Camera iPhones Will Have Dual Optical Image Stabilization

While the iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-lens camera, only the wide-angle lens supports optical image stabilization. However, that could change next year. In a research note obtained by MacRumors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo maintains his belief new dual-camera iPhone models in 2017 will support dual optical image stabilization. Kuo believes Apple will redesign the telephoto lens to support the feature in addition to existing auto focus functionality.We believe Apple will add OIS function to the telephoto CCM in order to enhance the selling points of next year’s new iPhone. We think photo quality and optical zoom range may both improve as a result. We expect the telephoto lens will be redesigned to support OIS in the telephoto CCM, with challenges likely coming from: (1) the need to increase the image circle of the telephoto lens, which will lead to longer calibration time and a more complex assembly processes; and (2) a redesign of the telephoto lens, as an increased image circle will result in degraded photo quality around the corners.Kuo said Apple's rumored 5.1"-5.2" OLED iPhone and a new 5.5-inch iPhone with a traditional LCD display will feature dual cameras with dual optical image stabilization, while a new 4.7-inch model with an LCD display is expected to retain a single-lens camera, also with optical image stabilization. Kuo expects Apple supplier Largan Precision to remain the exclusive provider of 6P and telephoto lens for the trio of new

Rumored 5.8" OLED iPhone Said to Have 5.1" to 5.2" Active Display Area

Apple is widely rumored to release its first iPhone with an OLED display next year, but reports have been conflicting about its potential screen size. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said Apple will launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with a curved OLED display and glass casing next year, while Barclays analysts recently called for a 5-inch iPhone with a curved, bezel-free OLED display. Japanese website Nikkei also expects a new glass-backed 5-inch iPhone. Now, in a new research note, Kuo said the much-rumored premium iPhone model will indeed have a 5.8-inch OLED panel, but with a smaller actual active display area of between 5.1 and 5.2 inches. Kuo said this is for "specific design purposes," which likely points towards a wraparound or curved display of some sort.We predict OLED iPhone will be 5.1-5.2”, despite various market speculation. In terms of the display size of the OLED iPhone, current information from the upstream points to 5.8”, while that from the downstream points to 5”, which does not conflict, in our view. We predict OLED iPhone will adopt a 5.7-5.8” flexible OLED panel (with Samsung (KR) as the exclusive supplier). Nonetheless, for ‘specific design purposes’, the actual active area may be around 5.1-5.2”. Other than the OLED model, we expect Apple to launch new 4.7” and 5.5” TFT-LCD iPhone models.Kuo reiterated the all-new OLED-based iPhone will be accompanied by new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones with traditional LCD

Next Year's iPhones to Include 4.7" LCD Model With Single Camera, 5.5" LCD and OLED Models With Dual Cameras

Apple will release a trio of new iPhones next year, according to a new research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo believes Apple will launch a 4.7-inch model with a single-lens camera and LCD display, 5.5-inch model with a dual-lens camera and LCD display, and an all-new OLED model with a dual-lens camera in 2017.We look for new 2017F iPhones to come in three models: one OLED model, and two TFT-LCD models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display. We believe the OLED and 5.5-inch TFT-LCD iPhones will feature dual-camera. Based on this prediction, our forecast of dual camera adoption rate in new 2017F iPhone models is revised up from 30-40% to 65-75%. We view this increase as favoring Largan’s sales and profit momentum as it is the exclusive supplier of wide-angle and telephoto lens. It also bodes well for Apple’s dual camera software ecosystem.Kuo did not specify the display size for the all-new OLED model, expected to be positioned as the premium model in next year's iPhone lineup, but he previously said Apple will launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with a curved OLED display and glass casing next year. Barclays analysts also recently said Apple will release a 5-inch LCD iPhone and 5.8-inch OLED iPhone, both with curved, bezel-free designs, next year. Japanese website Nikkei likewise said Apple will release three new glass-backed iPhones next year, including 4.7-inch, 5-inch, and 5.5-inch sizes. The report reiterated that one of those iPhones will be a premium model with a curved edge-to-edge OLED display to be sold alongside two models that have standard LCD

iPhone 7 Demand Has 'Peaked' as Shipments Forecasted to Decline Significantly Over Next Two Months

Just two months after the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes demand for the smartphones has "peaked" in line with a significant monthly shipment decline starting in November. Kuo predicted Apple's overseas suppliers will revise down their iPhone shipments by 5-15% in November-December due to lower-than-expected demand stemming from a lack of significant improvements.As the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, which accounts for a higher share of iPhone shipments, is in stock in the main global markets, we believe overall iPhone shipments have peaked. We think iPhone shipment forecasts will be revised down due to: (1) lower-than-expected demand due to a lack of spec surprises in the 4.7-inch iPhone 7; and (2) shorter times for delivering online orders of 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, which implies slowing demand. We note that the out-of-stock phenomenon also results from fixed capacity, and is not only due to robust demand.In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo noted that the out-of-stock phenomenon that typically follows a new iPhone launch results from fixed capacity, and is not only due to robust demand. Kuo reiterated his forecast of a possible year-over-year iPhone shipment decline in the first quarter of 2017 due to the lower-than-expected demand and fierce competition in

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