KGI Securities


'KGI Securities' Articles Page 5

iPhone's Force Touch Tech May Track Contact Area Instead of Pressure, New 4" Model Unlikely in 2015

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming plans, issued a note to investors on Thursday that claims the next-generation iPhone will have a FPC-made capacitive Force Touch sensor under the backlight, laminated with metal shielding. Kuo adds that the change may be significant enough for Apple to call its next iPhone the "iPhone 7" instead of the so-called "iPhone 6s." The analyst claims that the hardware design of Force Touch will be different than the technology used in the Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook. Instead of directly detecting the pressure applied by fingers, the new improved Force Touch hardware will monitor the contact area where a finger presses to determine how much pressure is being applied. The sensor will use capacitive technology and thin FPC material to save space."We believe that iPhone’s Force Touch sensor doesn’t directly detect the pressure applied by fingers. Instead, it monitors the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is. There are two possible structural designs for Force Touch from a technology viewpoint. The Force Touch sensor can either be placed between the cover lens and the In-cell touch panel or under the In-cell touch panel’s backlight. In the first position, the technological challenge lies with how to produce the transparent Force Touch sensor; in the second position, the challenge is how to reduce signal interference from in-cell touch panel. Our understanding of the technology is that producing a transparent

Apple Watch May Gain Additional Casing Material Options Later This Year

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record in providing information on yet-to-be released Apple products, today released a report predicting that up to three new casing options for the Apple Watch will launch sometime this fall. Kuo points out that the Apple Watch's sale momentum could stall entering the fourth quarter of the year, and thinks the release of new casing options for the device could reinvigorate it heading into the 2015 holiday shopping season. Rumors stating that Apple was looking into a platinum casing for the Watch right before the "Spring Forward" event could point toward the option becoming available down the road. Aside from current casing materials of aluminum, stainless steel and 18k gold, we believe 1-3 new versions of Apple Watch featuring new casing materials are likely to go into mass production in 4Q15. If this is the case, we think it could boost Apple Watch shipments momentum in 4Q15-1Q16. Though impressed by the "outstanding designs" of the Apple Watch and new MacBook, Kuo sees the Watch underselling the market expectation of 20-30 million units in 2015 to about 15-20 million devices sold throughout the year. The analyst sees the Watch selling between 5-6 million units in the first half of the year, and the new MacBook about 450,000 units in that same time frame. Kuo notes that as with many first-generation products, the Apple Watch will "focus on verifying whether the user behavior and business model are right", with subsequent generations honing in and expanding on the device's features and adding new ones,

Next-Generation iPhone Said to Feature Upgraded Touch ID With Reduced Errors

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided reliable information about Apple's upcoming product plans in the past, claims that Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature an upgraded Touch ID module with reduced reading errors for an improved and safer Apple Pay experience."We think the new iPhone,expected to launch in 3Q15, will be equipped with an upgraded Touch ID module, with which Apple (US) intends to offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience with reduced reading errors. We therefore raise our 2015F shipments of Touch ID module by 12.4% to 262mn sets, boosted by Apple Pay and new iPhone models."Kuo told investors that he expects suppliers to ramp up for production of the improved Touch ID module shipments, which are expected to rise by 77% to over 260 million units, in the second quarter. The oft-accurate analyst added that the upgraded fingerprint scanner will "require more advanced precision for the module’s laser welding process." Sunnic and ASE Kuo are expected to be two of the main suppliers of components for Apple's new Touch ID alongside TSMC. Kuo predicts that Apple will release the next-generation iPhone in the third quarter of this year, lining up historically with past iPhone releases in September. Kuo also points out that Touch ID embedded into a display is unlikely in the near term, despite several published patent applications from Apple on the topic. With a need for a sapphire display cover to minimize scratching and the complex algorithms needed for handling Touch ID within a display, it will be some time before such

Apple Reported to Begin Shipping Apple Watch in March, 12-Inch MacBook Air in Early 2015

Apple will begin shipping the Apple Watch in March and will also look to launch its new 12-inch MacBook Air during this quarter, according to a new report by KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo. The analyst also predicted that iPhone shipments would beat expectations for Q1 2015 with over 61 million units shipped, while iPad shipments are expected to total to 10 million units. Kuo notes that Apple may reveal more details about the Apple Watch before its official launch, revealing specifics on battery life and the start of pre-orders. Most components of the Apple Watch will see high shipments during the quarter, but other key components are expected to see low production yields which may cause a constrained supply. Kuo predicts that Apple will ship 2.8 million Apple Watch units in Q1 2015, and his estimate for a March launch falls in line with previous reports. Rendering of 12-inch MacBook Air done by Martin Hajek Kuo's estimate for a Q1 2015 launch of the new 12-inch MacBook Air falls in line with a report earlier this month which stated that Apple supplier Quanta Computer was ramping up production of the notebook for a release this quarter. The 12-inch MacBook Air is expected to feature a new ultra-thin, fan-less design with a high resolution Retina display and a low-power Intel Core M processor. The notebook is also said to be one of the first to take advantage of the new reversible USB Type C connector, which may also be used for

Apple Predicted to Launch Optional Stylus Accessory Alongside 12.9-Inch 'iPad Pro'

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another report outlining his belief that Apple will launch a stylus as an optional accessory for the company's rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro". With the new iPad's larger screen, it will likely prove popular with enterprise and creative users who tend to have more need for a stylus and Kuo believes Apple will fill that need with an in-house solution.Given that it’s more precise than a person’s fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases. Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad. Apple's proposed haptic stylus from a 2010 patent application, not necessarily reflective of the company's current thinking on such a device Kuo believes the stylus will be an optional accessory rather than included standard with the new iPad, as the relatively expensive stylus would drive the base cost of the iPad too high.We don’t think all users will need a stylus initially. Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it. We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.Looking at technical details of the stylus, Kuo predicts it will charge via a Lightning connector, believing a more convenient wireless charging solution would be too expensive and require difficult antenna design that Apple will likely forego initially. Kuo also believes the initial stylus model will not include a gyroscope

Apple Diversifies Chip Orders for iOS Device and Apple Watch Amid Predictions of ARM Macs

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has frequently offered accurate information on Apple's product plans based on supply chain information, has released a new report outlining his expectations for the company's chips over the next several years. Kuo highlights a diversified supplier lineup for Apple's A-series chips used in its iOS devices, with TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries all contributing to production. Kuo sees the 2015 chip breakdown with the A9 chip destined for this year's iPhones being shared by Samsung and GlobalFoundries, while TSMC handles the A9X that would be used in iPad models. That split is projected to flip in 2016, with TSMC handling the A10 iPhone chips and Samsung being responsible for A10X iPad chips. Perhaps most enticingly, Kuo projects that Apple could begin launching ARM-based Macs in the next year or two based on its custom chip designs.Apple may launch Mac products that use own AP in next 1-2 years. This prediction is based on the assumption that Apple’s self-developed AP performs at a level between Intel’s Atom and Core i3 and is good enough for Mac. Using self- developed AP can help Apple better control the timing of Mac launches and Mac product features.Use of A-series chips in Macs would certainly be limited to lower-end devices at first, but Apple's emphasis on controlling its supply chain and the improving performance of Apple's A-series ARM chips compared to low-end Intel chips could lead to a shift in the coming years. Kuo also looks at the Apple Watch, where Samsung has been reported to be handling the primary

iPhone Shipments Expected to Rise to 71.5 Million Units in Q4 2014, Drop to 49.4 Million Units in Q1 2015

Shipments of Apple's iPhone are expected to surge to 71.5 million units in Q4 2014 before the company decreases shipments to an estimated 49.4 million units in Q1 2015, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The analyst estimates that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will account for nearly 57 million of the fourth-quarter number and that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S will experience quarter-over-quarter growth in Q1 2015 before Apple ceases production of both phones later in the year. Kuo notes that he expects shipments of the iPhone 6 to outnumber shipments of the iPhone 6 Plus by a 2:1 ratio: We attribute the shortage of iPhone 6 Plus partly to less smooth production than iPhone 6. Moreover, while iPhone 6 Plus attracted greater attention when it was launched, we think more consumers will prefer iPhone 6 as they can operate the handset with one hand. Eventually, iPhone 6 shipments will outperform those of the iPhone 6 Plus model. Sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus topped ten million during the launch weekend for both devices, with the larger model seeing supply constraints. However, shipping times for the iPhone 6 Plus improved last week, with the 16GB model showing a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days and the 64GB model showing an estimate of 2 to 3 weeks. A survey of U.S. customers done by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) earlier this month also noted that U.S. customers are favoring the iPhone 6 over the iPhone 6 Plus by a 3:1 ratio. Update: This article initially stated the 71.5 million estimate was for iPhone 6 and 6

12.9-Inch 'iPad Pro' Production Rumored for Q2 2015 Amid Manufacturing Difficulties

Apple's 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" may not enter mass production until the second quarter of 2015, according to new predictions from often-reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He believes that the iPad Pro will use an oxide panel to achieve a "high resolution, quick response, and high color saturation," and that the time needed for component yield and assembly to improve will push back production until 2Q 2015. Earlier this year, a report from Bloomberg suggested the iPad Pro might be released in early 2015, but an October report from The Wall Street Journal indicated Apple had delayed its planned December mass production of the tablet in order to focus its attention on producing more iPhone 6 Plus units, leaving a potential iPad Pro release date up in the air. Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad Pro next to 13-inch MacBook Air Little is known about the iPad Pro aside from its 12.2 to 12.9-inch display size, which dwarfs the smaller 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3. Rumors have also suggested that it will offer the same A8X processor introduced with the iPad Air 2 along with an ultra high resolution display and a 7mm-thick form factor that's similar to existing iPads. Kuo's report also focuses on forecasting iPad shipments, which he believes will fall 54.5 percent quarter over quarter to just 9.8 million units during the first calendar quarter of 2015. He points towards the lack of new applications and a saturation of the tablet market as the basis for his prediction.We believe that, in a major shift, while Apple (US) used to be able to use new form

Initial iPad Air 2 Supplies May Be Limited, 27-Inch Retina Display iMac Launching by End of 2014

Just about a day before Apple's October 16 media event, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report, saying that he expects supplies of iPad Air 2s to be constrained. His report also suggests that the 27-inch Retina Display iMac will have shipments begin before the end of the year and reiterates that the new iPad minis won't be a significant upgrade. Of the new products, we think the market will be more interested in iPad Air 2. However, as the poor yield rate of anti-reflective coating cover lens has delayed mass production, we estimate 2014 shipments of iPad Air 2 of 7- 9mn units, lower than the 12mn units of the then-new iPad Air shipments in 2013. We thus expect iPad Air 2 to contribute less to the supply chain than iPad Air did last year. We also don’t expect the event to boost supply chain shares much.Kuo goes on to once again suggest that a significant update to the iPad mini isn't likely due to the iPad Air's larger "contribution to Apple's sales and earnings" and that iPad mini is seeing limited development resources because Apple is working on a brand-new 12.9-inch iPad. The 27-inch Retina Display iMac is likely to begin shipments before the end of 2014, with the 21-inch Retina Display arriving sometime in the second half of 2015. The delay between the two models, Kuo suggests, is because of how difficult it is to develop two different sized high resolution panels at the same time. Finally, Kuo corroborates reports that new MacBook models will not make an appearance at the October 16 event as Apple is waiting on Intel's Broadwell chips

Apple Said to Upgrade iPad Air With Gold Option and Anti-Reflective Laminated Display

In a bit of a surprise prediction, Apple may use its upcoming September 9 event to introduce the iPad Air 2 along with the iPhone 6 and iWatch, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a research report released today. That plan would differ from Apple's announcement schedules in recent years that have seen the company unveil the iPhone in September and the iPad in October at a second press event. Physical mockup of the second-generation iPad Air According to Kuo, Apple is preparing modest upgrades primarily for the iPad Air and not the iPad mini, because the larger iPad is more popular among consumers. While the iPad Air 2 is said to carry several improvements, including an anti-reflective display as previously rumored, the second-generation Retina iPad mini may receive only Touch ID support. In light of limited development resources and the fact that iPad Air contributes more to Apple’s sales and earnings than iPad mini, we think that only iPad Air 2 will see a major upgrade in specs this year, including anti-reflective coating for the cover lens, full lamination for the touch panel, a gold-colored metal casing, an A8 processor, Touch ID/ fingerprint recognition and an 8-megapixel rear camera. iPad mini may be upgraded with fingerprint recognition, if any.While Kuo doesn't address whether the updated iPad Air will be thinner than the current model, a recent report from Digitimes claimed the device will indeed be thinner, and a laminated display could help Apple shave a small amount from the device's thickness. Kuo claims that the anti-reflective display and

iPhone 6 May Lose Sapphire Display Cover, Gain 128 GB Storage Option

In a research note released today, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will be announced next week at Apple's iPhone press event. Kuo believes Apple will stagger the launch with the 4.7-inch model arriving in mid-September and the 5.5-inch model following 5 to 10 weeks later. Kuo believes both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models will face supply constraints at launch as demand likely will outpace Apple's ability to manufacture the device. Labor shortages at Foxconn will impact the production of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, while the 5.5-inch faces an additional hurdle due to production issues with assembly and other components. In line with earlier reports, Kuo says Apple will boost the internal storage of the iPhone to 128 GB. Both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models will ship with this higher capacity option. It is unclear whether Apple will add the 128 GB as a fourth storage option or drop the lower 16 GB model, selling the iPhone 6 only in 32, 64, and 128 GB capacities, although a 16 GB module has been seen on a leaked logic board and the earlier leaked schematic had referred to 16, 64, and 128 GB options.. Though he previously has stated select premium iPhone 6 handsets will ship with a sapphire glass option, Kuo, in this latest report, addresses the possibility of a sapphire cover, which he claims Apple is abandoning due to drop test issues. Kuo also claims the iPhone will have a programmable, side-mounted power button and an internal barometer sensor for navigation and health-related purposes. Key spec forecasts –

Apple's iWatch Pegged for 2015 Debut in Two Sizes With 8 GB Storage, Multiple Material Options

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note today with updated information on Apple's rumored iWatch wearable device. Echoing earlier reports, Kuo believes Apple will unveil the iWatch at its upcoming September event, with sales starting in 2015. This early announcement would create a buzz about the product and provide developers with adequate time to prepare apps for this new device. 2.5-inch iWatch concept from SET Solution with curved, rectangular display According to Kuo, the iWatch may have a rectangular design and will include 8GB of internal storage with 512MB LPDDR3. The wristwatch will be available in two screen sizes of 1.3 and 1.5-inches in order to accommodate different wrist sizes. Apple may use between two to four different casing materials, with aluminum and gold as two likely options. The fact that wearable devices don’t need much memory explains our prediction of an 8GB version with 512MB built-in memory. We expect casing material to be of 2-4 different types, with aluminum the most likely as it has been widely used in Apple products. A gold casing option is also possible, to add a luxury image to the product. We believe iWatch will be rectangular in front/ panel side shape. And lastly, like some other wearable devices, we expect there to be a number of holes on the back side of the device that can be used to monitor users’ vital health signs such as heart rate. Rumors have suggested the iWatch will include several sensors to monitor vital health statistics such as heart rate, sleep activity and more. The band likely will sync

Apple Not Expected to Ship Reversible USB-Lightning Cable or New Adapter Alongside iPhone 6

Apple will likely not be shipping a new Lighting cable or redesigned USB power adapter alongside the iPhone 6, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via AppleInsider). Kuo notes that he doesn't expect either accessory to receive design changes when shipped alongside the iPhone 6, noting that "cost concerns" and "limited improvements to overall user experience" are preventing Apple from making such moves. Moca.co's prototype USB adapter and Lightning cable based on Apple's designs The report follows recent leaks of a revamped Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector as well as a revamped power adapter. The new USB adapter is said to be capable of powering all iPhone, iPod and iPad mini models with support for up to 2A of current, twice that of the current adapter shipping with the iPhone. Last month, third-party vendor Moca.co stated that Apple has yet to move forward with manufacturing orders with the new cable, likely indicating that it will not ship with iPhone 6. However, the company also stated that the redesigned power adapters are in mass production, and could in fact ship with Apple's new handset. Apple will unveil the iPhone 6 for the first time next Tuesday, September 9, as any new accessories will likely be announced alongside the

Apple Facing Production Issues with iPhone 6 as 5.5-Inch Version May Be Delayed Until 2015

The launch of Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may be delayed into 2015 as Apple's production issues with the smaller 4.7-inch version will likely carry over into the larger model, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Production bottlenecks on 4.7-inch iPhone 6 center on the yield rate of in-cell touch panel and metal casing. As in-cell touch panel becomes larger in size, the edge of the panel may become insensitive to touch. Meanwhile, under new manufacturing process for the iPhone 6 metal casing, color unevenness is an issue. Kuo adds that these problems become more complicated with the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6. As these new concerns are coupled with earlier concerns about the production of sapphire displays for the larger device, the analyst believes that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may not launch by the end of 2014, or may launch after October in very limited quantities. In the event that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is delayed to next year, Kuo believes that Apple will cut the prices of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c alongside the launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Early rumors about the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 pointed towards production issues with the device's display and battery life. However, a report from Bloomberg last month noted that both models would enter production and launch at the same time. Concerns over the metal casings used for the iPhone 6 were also reported late last month, as Apple rejected casings from partner Catcher Technology. However, those issues were said to be over parts found within the casings as opposed to color disfiguration

Touch ID Once Again Said to Come to iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 This Year

A new research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that Apple will include Touch ID across all new iOS devices in 2014, boosting shipments and bringing the fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The report reiterates previous claims made by Kuo last month, which noted that Apple's next-generation iPads will feature Touch ID upon their releases this fall. Apple’s Touch ID module should see shipments soar 233% in 2014. We believe every new iOS device launched this year will be equipped with Touch ID, including 4.7” and 5.5” new iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 2 with Retina display. Considering shipments of new products and iPhone 5S sales last longer than in 2013, we forecast unit sales of the fingerprint sensor module to grow 233% to 120mn for 2014. Kuo also notes that Apple will change its Touch ID module design to utilize tin over previously used chemicals to enhance durability. Apple is also expected to stick with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and its subsidary XinTec to produce the fingerprint sensors. Last month, it was noted that TSMC provided the first batch of fingerprint sensors for the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. A report in January noted that TSMC would begin production on the sensors sometime in the second quarter of this year with a new 12-inch fab processing method, however a report in February stated that TSMC would be using the same 8-inch fingerprint sensor processing method used for the iPhone 5s. Improved shipments of Touch ID will also likely help launch supplies

iWatch to Come in Two Sizes With 'Fashionable Appearance', Top End to Cost 'Several Thousand' Dollars

In a 2014 product roadmap that outlines all of Apple's plans for the year, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo revealed his predictions for Apple’s much-rumored iWatch, which may ship as soon as the third quarter of 2014. According to Kuo, the iWatch will come in two separate sizes to accommodate different sized wrists: 1.3 inches and 1.5 inches. Multiple sizes for the device were first predicted in late 2013, though the original rumor pointed towards displays of 1.3 and 1.7 inches. Both watches will include flexible AMOLED displays with sapphire covers to protect the device from scratches. Along with a multitude of biometric sensors, coupled in a system-in-a-package design, Kuo predicts the iWatch will include integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, along with a "fashionable appearance," an NFC chip, and a slim and light design. Traditional watch-style iWatch concept based on TRIWA's Havana Nevil Brown watch, by Gábor Balogh We are confident on Apple's ability to make wearable devices with good fashion sense, which sets Apple apart from rivals.Kuo believes many of the iWatch's mechanical parts may be constructed using liquid metal and that it may include an "innovative" antenna design that allows for wireless charging functionality. Battery life has been a major challenge for Apple when it comes to iWatch development and Kuo forecasts a 200 to 250mAh battery for the device that will provide at least a one day of operating power. Earlier reports have suggested the company is aiming for three to four days of battery life, however, and Kuo does note that the

iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini to Get Touch ID This Year

Apple may be preparing to feature its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on updated models of the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini that will be released later this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states in a new research note. We think the upgraded iPad Air will be launched earlier in 2014 than the iPad Air was in 2013. The biggest changes will be A8 processor, Touch ID (fingerprint recognition), and main camera resolution of 8MP. ...We previously thought Apple would not release a new version of the iPad mini this year, but we now think Apple will launch an upgraded version with same form factor, A8 processor and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) to boost shipments of iPad mini with Retina display. Regarding the next-generation iPad Air, Kuo adds that the tablet will launch at an earlier point than the original iPad Air did in November of last year. Kuo also notes that Apple is likely to cut the price of the existing Retina iPad mini, and that the newer model will feature the same form factor with an upgraded processor and Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The researcher also once again speaks on the possibility of the long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad, stating that Apple is actively working on the device and gearing it towards uses in entertainment and productivity. However, Kuo notes that the product is unlikely to come out in 2014, falling in line with what he stated in his previous reports from this past February and last October.

iPhone 6 Could See Sleep/Wake Button Move, 401 ppi in 5.5" Model, Sapphire Display in High-End Phones

In an extensive research note, the well-sourced KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo has shared additional details about his expectations for the next iPhone model, expected to be called the iPhone 6. Perhaps the biggest change that Kuo mentions is a move of the sleep/wake button from the top of the iPhone to the side, to better facilitate one-handed operation on larger iPhones.In line with previous rumors, Kuo believes the new 4.7-inch model will come with a 1334x750 Retina display at 326 pixels per inch, while the 5.5" will see a 1920x1080 screen at 401 ppi. Both devices will have the same aspect ratio to the iPhone 5, meaning apps will not need to be redesigned for the second time in three years.The iPhone 6 will include a new A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, Touch ID, a narrower bezel by 10 to 20 percent, and the phone to be thinned to 6.5-7.0mm (the current iPhone 5 is 7.6mm thick). He also expects Apple to finally include NFC chips in its smart phones. Renderings of iPhone 6 (4.7") and iPhone 6 (5.7") based on leaked schematics For the 4.7", Kuo says the narrower bezel will still allow one-handed operation along with a better visual experience because of the bigger screen. He believes shipments could approach 60 million units by the end of the year.The 5.5" phone won't be operable with one hand, but Kuo says some smartphone users prioritize the visual experience over one-handed use. He believes the more profitable phone it could cannibalize sales of the iPad mini, as well as smaller tablets and phablets form competitors. He expects the 5.5" iPhone 6 to debut later

12" Retina MacBook Air and Low-Price iMac Likely in 2014

In an extensive research note covering Apple's product roadmap for 2014, KGI Securities Ming Chi Kuo reiterated expectations that Apple is working on a ultra slim 12" MacBook Air but also revealed a new low-cost iMac in the works. Kuo's predictions for the 12" MacBook Air match what was leaked in March from a reliable Chinese forum source. The new 12" MacBook Air will "redefine notebook user experience": - Thinner than current models - No fan - Buttonless trackpad - Higher resolution Display Kuo first predicted this ultra thin 12" MacBook Air late last year.We expect the unprecedented 12” model will boast both the portability of the 11” model, and productivity of the 13” model. The high resolution display will also offer the outstanding visual experience of the Retina MacBook Pro. The offering will likely be lighter and slimmer than the existing MacBook Air to further highlight ease of portability in the cloud computing era. We think the form factor will showcase a much improved clamshell structure, and that it will redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.Besides the 12" MacBook Air, Kuo reiterates his earlier claim that a "low-priced" version of the iMac is coming. The new model will help compete with companies such as HP and Lenovo as well as grow market share in Asia. The 12" MacBook Air is not expected until late 2014, while the low-cost iMac may come mid-year.

Apple's 2014 Product Roadmap: New iWatch, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, and MacBooks Coming

Apple is set to release a slew of new products during the third quarter of 2014 according to KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who often provides reliable information on Apple’s product lineup. In a 2014 product roadmap, Kuo suggests Apple will introduce its first new product of the year, a lower-cost iMac, during the second quarter. Soon after, during the third quarter, Kuo predicts Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini, followed by an iWatch in two separate sizes, and a 4.7-inch iPhone. An upgraded Apple TV set-top box will come somewhat later, as will the rumored 12-inch ultra slim MacBook and upgraded Retina MacBook Pros. Later, in the fourth quarter, Apple will introduce the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is said to be delayed due to issues with in-cell display technology. Along with his roadmap, Kuo also gives specific information on each of Apple’s upcoming products. - iWatch: Kuo believes the iWatch will ship during the end of the third quarter, offering biometric functionality, integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and a "fashionable appearance." As has been previously suggested, he predicts the device will come in two sizes, with a 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED display. It will also include a sapphire cover lens, biometric recognition, an NFC chip, wireless charging, a 200 to 250 mAh battery, and a slim and light design. Kuo also believes that Apple will offer the iWatch at multiple price points, with the most expensive version costing upwards of $1,000. - iPhone 6: Supporting previous iPhone 6 rumors, Kuo believes the