KGI Securities


'KGI Securities' Articles Page 4

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

Apple Predicted to Launch A9-Based 4-Inch iPhone in Early 2016, iPhone 7 Plus to Carry 3 GB of RAM

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report outlining his expectations for Apple's 2016 iPhone launches, including several interesting tidbits about the upcoming devices. First, Kuo believes Apple still has a new 4-inch iPhone in the works that "resembles an upgraded iPhone 5s". The device is said to be targeted for launch in the first half of next year and will come equipped with an A9 processor.As there is still demand for a 4-inch iPhone, we believe Apple will upgrade this product line. Because the iPhone 5s is more popular than the iPhone 5c, we think Apple is likely to launch an upgraded iPhone 5s. We predict Apple will mass-produce this new 4-inch iPhone in 1H16 with metal casings. In order to make the current iOS 9 or next-generation iOS 10 run smoothly, Apple may adopt an A9 chip for this new phone.Kuo believes this new 4-inch iPhone will not include 3D Touch support as part of an effort to keep it differentiated from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. He also projects Apple could ship 20-30 million units of this new iPhone through the end of 2016. Looking ahead to the next full refresh with the iPhone 7, Kuo expects the usual third-quarter launch in 2016 with an unsurprising upgrade to a new A10 chip to offer increased performance. He does, however, believe Apple will opt to differentiate between the two sizes of the iPhone 7 when it comes to RAM, with the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 carrying the same 2 GB seen in current iPhones while the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus will include 3 GB of RAM for performance reasons. Kuo believes major winners for

KGI Forecasts Around 75M iPhone and 4M Apple Watch Sales During Holiday Shopping Season

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released shipments forecasts for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch for upcoming fiscal quarters. Kuo estimates between 70-75 million iPhone and 3.5-4 million Apple Watch shipments during Q1 2016 of the fiscal year, which encompasses the busy holiday shopping season in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Europe and many other regions. In a research note, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, Kuo believes that iPhone sales momentum could gradually decline in the new year, possibly enough for the device to experience its first year-over-year shipments decline in the first quarter of a year in 2016.We estimate iPhone shipments rose 2.1% QoQ and 23.6% YoY to 48.5mn units in 3Q15, of which 20-22mn units were iPhone 6s. We attribute the solid YoY growth to the inclusion of China as the first-launch market for iPhone 6s and to increased output of the new model (versus 14-15mn units of iPhone 6 in 3Q14). However, as we do not expect overall demand for iPhone 6s to be significantly stronger than that for iPhone 6, we expect shipments momentum could gradually decline in 4Q15-1Q16F on a YoY basis. We expect iPhone may see its first YoY shipments decline in the first quarter of a year in 2016.Kuo also forecasts between 14.5-15.5 million iPad shipments and 5.4-5.6 million Mac shipments in fiscal Q1 2016, which lines up with Q4 2015 of the calendar year, a three-month period ending December 31. The analyst expects iPad Pro shipments to be around 2 million in fiscal Q1 2016, and believes the tablet's higher selling price will help

iPhone 6s Plus in Short Supply Due to Backlight Module Production Issues

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a note to investors that claims the iPhone 6s Plus is facing supply shortages amid pre-orders due to backlight module production issues at Japanese supplier Minebea. Kuo says that Apple is looking to resolve the problem by transferring backlight module orders to alternative supplier Radiant. The supplier will see its orders increase by 70-80% to 4-5 million units in September.We believe Minebea’s (JP) backlight module production issues in supplying iPhone 6S Plus (6S Plus) is one of the main factors in the model’s supply shortage. To tackle this issue, we believe Apple (US) has been increasingly transferring high-ASP 6S Plus backlight module orders to Radiant (6176 TT, NT$106.5, OP), boosting its sales momentum.While shipping estimates for the iPhone 6s Plus have slipped to 3-4 weeks or later for most models, Kuo believes the primary reason is because of supply chain problems rather than strong demand. The analyst expects Apple to prepare 1.5 to 2 million iPhone 6s Plus units for sale on September 25 launch day. The switch from Minebea to Radiant should help improve iPhone 6s Plus supply through September.To accelerate availability, we believe Apple has been transferring substantial 6S Plus backlight module orders to Radiant. As such, we estimate the company’s iPhone 6S Plus backlight module orders to increase by 70-80% to 4-5mn units in September, boosting its order allocation from 35-45% to 70-80%.Apple informed the media this morning that iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus pre-orders are "on pace to beat" last year's

'iPhone 7' Thickness Likely to Approach iPod Touch

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report that suggests next year's "iPhone 7" could be Apple's thinnest smartphone yet, with a thickness of somewhere between 6.0mm and 6.5mm, which Kuo mentions is a near similar measurement of the current iPod touch's 6.1mm. As a comparison, the current model of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are 6.9mm and 7.1mm thick, respectively. The report also states that the company will stick to a similar Force Touch technology in next year's version of the iPhone, due to the heavy amount of time and investment Apple and its suppliers have put into adapting it for this year's "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus." Due to this, Kuo believes that Apple is unlikely to switch from in-cell over to glass-on-glass touch panels next year, which a rumor out of Apple's supply chain in Asia suggested last week. The KGI report says that in-cell panels won't encounter any harsh production bottleneck issues, and that Apple won't be looking to create an iPhone display with a resolution of 4k or higher, so it's more likely for the company to stick with in-cell panels for the time being. The continued use of in-cell panels would also grant Apple the ability to produce an iPhone as thin as Kuo's suggested 6.0mm-6.5mm size. Although glass-on-glass panels allow for the possibility of a bezel-free iPhone, it also limits the ability for the company to create smaller and thinner smartphones, so if KGI's claim of an iPod Touch-size iPhone is true, it would make most sense for the company to keep using in-cell

KGI Expects New iPhones to Have 5MP Front Camera, Retain 16GB, 64GB and 128GB Capacities

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a note to investors that claims the so-called "iPhone 6s" will be offered in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage capacities, the same sizes available for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Kuo also claims the iPhone 6s will have an improved front-facing FaceTime camera with a 5-megapixel sensor, and reaffirms three much-rumored features: Force Touch, a new rose gold casing color and an upgraded Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Kuo's prediction corroborates multiple rumors that claim Apple will retain 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage sizes for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which are expected to be announced at the company's September 9th media event in San Francisco. Kuo says the iPhone 6s entered mass production in mid-August after some manufacturing bottlenecks due to Force Touch, casing and vibration

'iPhone 6s' Could Face Negative Growth Due to Low China Sales & Ambivalence Towards Force Touch

Despite the immense popularity of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, a recent KGI prediction estimates that Apple may sell somewhere between 65 and 75 million of the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" in Q4 2015, pointing towards a strong possibility of zero or negative growth year-over-year for the smartphone line. According to Apple Daily [Google Translate] (via GforGames), the report states that the two biggest factors for the predicted performance plateau or decline of this year's iPhone lies in weak sales for China and public ambivalence towards Force Touch as a flagship feature of the "S" generation. The analyst quoted by the Taiwanese media says there are two main factors that could contribute to these results. First of all, compared to last year, smartphone sales in China have declined along with the spending power, and as you should all know, China is the largest smartphone market in the world. Secondly, the analyst says that another big reason that could contribute to the iPhone 6s duo yielding zero or negative growth is Force Touch. More to the point, the technology itself should not slow down the market performance, but because Force Touch is supposed to be one of iPhone 6s’ main new driving feature and due to the fact that the public hasn’t been wowed by FT on the Watch and the new MacBook, the inclusion of Force Touch on the upcoming iPhone flagship might not attract as many customers as Apple might hope. Apple still has high hopes for China, remaining bullish on the country as becoming its "largest market in the future," spurring the company

'iPhone 6s' Mass Production Ramping Up in Late August Ahead of Mid-September Debut

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today provided more information on the launch of the next series of iPhones, the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus," noting that mass production on the smartphone line will begin in late August, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency [Google Translate] (via GforGames). The production ramp-up will reportedly come roughly 1-2 weeks later than originally expected, but the change should not affect Apple's launch plans, which are anticipated to involve a mid-September debut as has been typical for the past several years. iPhone 6s display assembly The analyst notes that Foxconn is manufacturing 60 percent of all iPhone 6s models, with Pegatron taking the remaining 40 percent. Foxconn will reportedly handle all of the manufacturing for the larger-screened "iPhone 6s Plus." Components for the iPhone 6s such as A9 chips and Force Touch-equipped display panels have been said to have been in production for several weeks now, and all of these components will be brought together at Foxconn's and Pegatron's facilities for final assembly. Apple is facing increasing demand for the new line of iPhones, and a few of Foxconn's factories -- such as the one in Zhengzhou -- are rumored to be ramping up overtime for employees heading into mass production just to be able to meet demand. GforGames also notes that slowing production of the iPhone 6 line ahead of the updated models is providing some breathing room for the manufacturing and production of the new iPhones. Earlier in the year, Kuo predicted a mid-to-late August time window

Apple Expected to Launch New iMacs With Improved Processors and Display Quality This Quarter

Apple's iMac line is set to receive a significant boost this quarter in the form of a refresh including new processors and improved display quality, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Display improvements are said to arrive in the form of greater color saturation, but Kuo makes no mention of whether Apple is planning to extend Retina display options to the smaller 21.5-inch iMac lineup.We believe Apple will introduce new iMac models in 3Q15, which are expected to have key selling points such as more powerful processors and much better display quality. We predict the panel will use a LED phosphor material called KSF to notably boost color saturation.While Apple has released several 27-inch Retina iMac models since last October, the remainder of the iMac lineup has not been updated since September 2013 as Apple has had to wait for Intel to release new desktop processors that could allow for a substantial update. With Broadwell processors starting to trickle out and Skylake right around the corner, it appears Apple will finally be able to offer a substantial upgrade for the entire iMac family. Kuo believes that an inventory draw-down in the second quarter, the upcoming new iMacs, and promotions such as the current Back to School program will drive strong sequential growth in iMac shipments for the current quarter, perhaps doubling quarter-over-quarter to one million units. The third calendar quarter is typically very strong for Apple's Mac segment with much of the world in the midst of back to school

Apple Predicted to Launch Apple Watch Sport in Yellow & Rose Gold, New iMacs & iPad Mini Later This Year

In a new research note outlining his predictions for Apple's recently completed financial quarter and beyond, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shares his thinking about some of Apple's upcoming product plans that will provide sales momentum in the latter portion of the year. - Apple Watch: Kuo remains conservative about the Apple Watch, pegging Apple's second quarter shipments at roughly 3.9 million and growing to 5.5 million in the current quarter as supply shortages ease and availability expands to more countries. As a result, he believes it will be difficult for Apple to reach Wall Street consensus estimates for 15 million units total through the end of the year, though analyst estimates have seen wide variations and Apple is indicated it will not be reporting Apple Watch unit sales in its financial results. Notably, Kuo believes Apple could launch the Apple Watch Sport in new color options to match iPhone 6s colors later this year, anodizing the watch's aluminum casing with yellow and rose gold. Kuo and other sources have previously pointed to a new iPhone color (reportedly rose gold) and Kuo indicated months ago that Apple could use new casing options for the Apple Watch later this year. - iPhone: Kuo believes Apple shipped roughly 54.2 million iPhones during the second calendar quarter, and he predicts that number will fall to 40.1 million in the current quarter as sales slow ahead of the "iPhone 6s" launch and shipments of the new device may get off to a somewhat slow start due to "low yield of Force Touch." - iPad: Apple's iPad sales continue to

Next-Generation iPhone Again Rumored to Adopt 7000 Series Aluminum

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a note to investors, a copy of which was obtained by Japanese blog Mac Otakara, in which he corroborates rumors that the next-generation iPhone will adopt 7000 Series aluminum as used in the Apple Watch Sport. Kuo also claimed that Apple will retain the same design as the iPhone 6, although the smartphone may have slightly different dimensions. The report claims that the next-generation iPhone could be wider and taller by about 0.15mm to account for the stronger 7000 Series aluminum design, while the smartphone may also be about 0.2mm thicker due to the addition of Force Touch. The new dimensions are marginal enough that most iPhone 6 users are unlikely to notice much of a difference with the so-called "iPhone 6s" design. Apple explains the properties of 7000 Series aluminum on its Apple Watch website:"For Apple Watch Sport, we started with 7000 Series aluminum — the same used in competition bicycles. We altered it to create a new alloy that’s just as light, yet even more durable — it’s 60 percent stronger than most aluminum, and one-third the density of stainless steel. It has a bright, lustrous colour and a uniform structure free of defects and impurities. Each case is machined and polished, then blasted with microscopic zirconia beads to achieve a consistent, satin texture. A special anodizing process creates a hard, clear outer layer that helps protect against scratches and corrosion."Kuo reiterated that the next-generation iPhone will be available in a new Rose Gold color option, similar to the rose gold Apple

Apple Could Unveil Next iPhones in August, Launch to Follow in September

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, has issued a research note to clients that claims Apple will announce its next iPhones in August ahead of a September launch. Apple has never unveiled an iPhone in August, having introduced early iPhone models at or around WWDC in June, the iPhone 4s in October 2011 and all subsequent iPhone models in September. It is worth noting that Kuo has sometimes been off with his launch timing predictions in the past. The research note, a copy of which was first obtained by The China Post, also claims that Foxconn is expected to secure between 60% to 70% of orders to assemble the new iPhones. Kuo notes that Foxconn has a higher yield rate for iPhones, helping it secure the majority of orders, and adds that the Taiwanese manufacturing company will also serve as the sole assembler of the much-rumored 12.9-inch iPad. Kuo previously predicted that the main selling point of the next iPhones will be Force Touch, the pressure-sensitive display technology built into Apple Watch and new MacBook trackpads. His other predicted features for the next iPhones, many of which have already been rumored, include an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, improved 12-megapixel camera, a new Rose Gold color option, improved Touch ID recognition, gesture control support, a new microphone added near the speaker and

Apple Watch Demand Flattening as 42mm Models Estimated to Represent Over 80% of Orders

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors today that claims Apple Watch demand may be slowing down, resulting in shipment forecasts being revised down by 20% to 30% to 5-6 million units in the third quarter. Kuo expects total Apple Watch shipments to fall within the 15 million range for the 2015 fiscal year, lower than the consensus of 20-30 million units, but remains upbeat about the Apple Watch and long-term wearable trends. KGI Securities conducted a survey that reveals most Apple Watch orders are scheduled to ship in June, and concludes that 2Q15 production output is likely sufficient for the orders placed so far. Kuo also notes that over 80% of orders are for larger 42mm models, implying a male-dominated customer mix based on the assumption that 42mm and 38mm watches are mainly purchased by men and women respectively. "We have learned that 42mm Apple Watch accounts for 60-70% of production. However, the shipping times of 38mm models are generally earlier than those of 42mm. We believe this is because demand for 38mm watches is significantly below that of 42mm ones. We estimate that 42mm models account for over 80% of sales. Assuming that 42mm and 38mm watches are mainly purchased by men and women respectively, the Apple Watch has attracted mostly men."Kuo concludes that the Apple Watch, like the original iPhone, has potential albeit several areas that could be improved. In particular, he says the Apple Watch has a lack of killer apps, not a very useful Digital Crown, insufficient battery life, room for form factor improvement, sometimes

Next A9-Based iPhone Predicted to Have 12MP Camera, 2GB RAM, Rose Gold and More, Mass Production in August

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, issued a note to investors today that offers eleven predictions for the next-generation iPhone in 2015. Kuo expects the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones to enter mass production in mid-to-late August, and does not believe that a new 4-inch iPhone model will be released in 2015. The main selling point of the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will be Force Touch, the pressure-sensitive display technology built into Apple Watch and new MacBook trackpads. Other predicted features for Apple's next iPhone, many of which have already been rumored, include an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, improved 12-megapixel camera, a new Rose Gold color option, possible sapphire cover lenses and more.(1) Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enhance user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market; (2) Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model; (3) There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose gold Apple Watch Edition; (4) The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12 MP; (5) One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality; (6) The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted; (7) The bending issue will be improved by using different

Apple Unlikely to Release New 4-Inch iPhone This Year, New Low-End Model Expected in 2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, reiterating that Apple is unlikely to launch a new 4-inch iPhone this year. Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, added that Apple will instead likely release a new 4-inch iPhone with Apple Pay compatibility in 2016."iPhone 5S still going strong; next 4-inch likely in 2016. Shipments of 5S are still going strong at 5-7mn units every quarter, an impressive level at such a mature stage of the product cycle. Momentum is being sustained by a more affordable price and the product’s outstanding design. But we still believe it’s necessary for Apple to have a new 4-inch iPhone because: (1) it will be key to extending momentum in the 4-inch category; and (2) it could complete the Apple Pay ecosystem, assuming it is equipped with NFC. We predict a launch in 2016."The well-informed analyst claims that the iPhone 5c will likely reach the end of its product cycle later this year, with the iPhone 5s becoming the new entry-level device in Apple's smartphone lineup once the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" are released this September. For now, the oft-rumored "iPhone 6c," speculated to be an iPhone 5s with plastic casing, is not planned. Kuo first expressed doubt that Apple will release a new 4-inch iPhone this year in a note to investors obtained by MacRumors earlier this month, in which he claimed that Apple is still targeting 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models for its next-generation iPhones. Sketchy rumors and

TSMC May Supply 30% of A9 Chip Orders for Next-Generation iPhone

Earlier this month, a report indicated that Samsung would produce the A9 chip for the next-generation iPhone. Now, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable source on Apple's future plans, says that he expects Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to supply 30% of the chip orders for the next-generation iPhone. This is the latest turn in what has become a back-and-forth affair in determining the companies that will supply A9 chips for next-generation iPhones. We believe key reasons in Apple’s (US) last minute decision to recruit TSMC are: (1) unstable yield rate at GlobalFoundries (US); (2) TSMC’s 16nm FinFET Turbo has exceeded Apple’s expectations in yield rate and performance; and (3) concerns of insufficient 14nm supply from Samsung LSI (KR) due to better-than-expected market feedback of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which uses the in-house 14nm FinFET-manufactured application processor Exynos 7420.Kuo notes that GlobalFoundries, Samsung's manufacturing partner, has thus far had an unstable yield rate of 30% for the A9 chip, which is below the 50% yield rate that is required for mass production. Bringing TSMC into the chip-supplying fold calms some of the uncertainties of Apple. Additionally, TSMC's 16-nanometer process has exceeded Apple's expectations. Alternatively, the Cupertino company is worried that the success of the the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which use Samsung's advanced 14-nanometer process for their chips, will mean that Apple won't be able to book enough chips from Samsung for the next-generation iPhone. Thus, Apple is turning

Ming-Chi Kuo: Global Apple Watch Pre-Orders Exceed 2.3 Million Units

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple, has issued a new note to investors estimating that global pre-orders for Apple Watch has exceeded 2.3 million units. Previously, a study from Slice Intelligence estimated that there were 1 million Apple Watch pre-orders in the United States. We estimate production of Apple Watch around 2.3mn units in March-May. Mass production of Apple Watch began in March and will likely reach 2.3mn by end of May. Considering that most consumers who preordered will not get the device until June, we estimate global preorders of over 2.3mn units, with Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition representing a respective order allocation of 85%, 15% and less than 1%.Kuo notes that Apple plans to expand the supply chains for Apple Watch, with the Cupertino company targeting production of 2 - 3 million units per month. However, they estimate that the potential bottlenecks in production could be the vibrators that power haptic feedback from AAC and AMOLED displays supplied by LGD. The Apple Watch's vibrator technical problems come from being stuffed in a smaller form factor than an iPhone while needing a more accurate vibration frequency than the vibrator in an iPhone. Additionally, the AMOLED display needs both good color performance and a long life span. Kuo predicts that Apple could reach 2.5 million units produced in June if production bottlenecks are absent. He also isn't sure whether the Apple Watch will be a hit, estimating that less than one-tenth of iPhone owners have