Ming-Chi Kuo

Ming-Chi Kuo was an analyst for KGI Securities, a financial services group in the Asia-Pacific region. He gathered intelligence from his contacts in Apple's Asian supply chain, translating the information he gleaned into research notes for KGI Securities clients.

His research notes often provided a solid look at Apple's future plans and while he was not always correct, his predictions on future Apple products were accurate enough to make him one of the most reliable sources for Apple rumors. Kuo left his position at KGI in early 2018 to pursue other opportunities not necessarily related to Apple.

'Ming-Chi Kuo' Articles

Ming-Chi Kuo May Lessen Focus on Apple Following Reported Departure From KGI Securities

Ming-Chi Kuo, widely considered to be one of the best analysts covering Apple, might no longer focus his research on the iPhone maker. Kuo speaking on behalf of DigiTimes China Times reports that Kuo resigned from Taiwanese research firm KGI Securities on Friday and, while his next move is uncertain, the publication suggests he will focus less on Apple and more on other emerging industries. Kuo has been one of the most prolific sources of rumors about Apple's unreleased products and services since as early as 2010, when he was a senior analyst at industry publication DigiTimes. He briefly covered Apple for Concord Securities in 2011, before moving to KGI Securities in early 2012. Congratulations to Ming Chi-Kuo (the best analyst covering Apple) who is leaving KGI for another firm, and reportedly moving on to cover innovative non-Apple companies. https://t.co/m55yUVQSGG— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 30, 2018 Kuo's research notes typically relayed information gathered from Apple's supply chain partners in Taiwan and other Asian countries. This information frequently allowed Kuo to accurately predict upcoming products on Apple's roadmap, although specific details and release dates were occasionally inaccurate. While he doesn't have a perfect track record, our archive of Kuo's research notes reveals several high-profile rumors that proved to be accurate. In March 2016, nearly two years prior to the iPhone X, for example, he said Apple was developing a new iPhone with a 5.8-inch OLED display, glass back, and metal frame. Later in 2016, he shared a laundry

Kuo Again Predicts No 3D Touch for 2018 6.1-Inch LCD iPhone

Apple's upcoming 6.1-inch LCD iPhone may not feature 3D Touch due to cost constraints, according to a new note shared yesterday by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and published by Chinese site Feng. Kuo says that the 6.1-inch iPhone will use what he calls "Cover Glass Sensor" (CGS) technology, relocating the iPhone's touch module from the display panel (in-cell technology) to the surface glass. The CGS method reportedly results in a display that's lighter and more shock resistant. With this display technology, Apple will add a thin-film sensor to the touch film sensor included in the CGS, but the purpose of the new layer is unknown. It will, however, result in a 15 percent increase in the cost of the touch panel, resulting in a higher purchase price of $23 to $26. To offset the cost of the new display it plans to use, Kuo believes Apple will remove the 3D Touch functionality on the 6.1-inch iPhone, which would be a curious move as 3D Touch is well-integrated throughout the operating system that runs on the iPhone at this point. The other two iPhone models Apple is expected to release in 2018, the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X successor and the 6.5-inch OLED device that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus," will continue to offer 3D Touch functionality. Because Apple plans to incorporate the CGS display technology into future iPhones, including OLED models starting in 2019, 3D Touch could potentially be removed from all future iPhones. It's not clear what the mystery thin-film sensor mentioned in Kuo's note will do, but it could be some kind of 3D Touch

Ming-Chi Kuo Says Apple Considering Lower-Priced HomePod After Potentially Lackluster Sales

HomePod shipments "could be far below market expectations" this year, according to reputable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. "Our understanding is that the market expects HomePod shipments to arrive at 5-10 million units in the 2018 fiscal year, versus our forecast of only 2.0-2.5 million units," wrote Kuo, in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes the "major miss" in HomePod shipments could be attributable to the speaker's design and pricing, among other factors. For starters, at $349, he said the HomePod's high price "could undermine demand despite excellent sound quality." He added that Siri provides an "uninspiring user experience" compared to competitors, presumably including the Amazon Echo with Alexa and the Google Home with Google Assistant. Kuo said the HomePod's potentially lackluster sales highlights "underlying concerns" in Apple's development of artificial intelligence.It's been six years since Apple introduced Siri to the market, which was way ahead of the firm's major competitors. The massive population of iOS and macOS users is also conducive to the promotion of the voice assistant function. However, we note that for most users worldwide, Siri is not a must-have function, and Apple has not yet become a leading brand in the AI voice assistant market. We also note that HomePod has not added support for new languages in the device since launch, suggesting Apple is facing challenges in AI/voice assistant development spanning the globe; this will cap the shipments momentum of HomePod.The oft-accurate analyst said Apple is

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple's Biggest Challenge to Innovation in Recent Years Has Been Software

Apple's "biggest challenge in innovation in recent years has been in software, not hardware," according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. "In several cases we have seen Apple lagging in software versus hardware development, which bodes badly for its innovation strategy of software and hardware integration," wrote Kuo, in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo's sole example is that Apple's first-mover advantage in augmented reality has been "significantly narrowed" by Chinese smartphone maker OPPO. He believes that OPPO has caught up with Apple's ARKit platform in only six to nine months, largely based on the fact that the augmented reality version of Honour of Kings will be compatible with not only iPhones but also OPPO's lower-priced smartphones when it launches next month, despite high-tech requirements. "The key is that OPPO is in charge of developing API, integrating hardware and software, and cooperating with SenseTime's algorithm and Tencent's game software development team," said Kuo, referring to the two Chinese companies that developed Honour of Kings, estimated to have over 200 million players, mainly in China. Kuo adds that, since the debut of ARKit at WWDC 2017, there has been no "heavyweight" augmented reality app for iPhones and iPads.We think Apple's endeavors in the AR field should have enabled it to offer AR applications popular with the market before the Android camp, including: (1) the announcement of ARKit, an AR development tool, ahead of Google; (2) customization of the SoC (including CPU and GPU); and (3) customization of

Apple Watch Series 4 to Feature Redesign, Longer Battery Life and 15% Larger Display

Apple Watch Series 4 models set to be released this fall will feature a new design and a display that's 15 percent larger, according to predictions shared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a new note that was sent out to investors this morning (via 9to5Mac). In addition to a new design with larger displays, the new fourth-generation Apple Watch models will feature a longer battery life enabled through more battery capacity and improved health monitoring capabilities. The display size of the watch could increase due to smaller bezels, and it's not quite clear what impact a larger display would have on physical device size. The Apple Watch's design has remained unchanged since the first-generation Apple Watch was introduced in 2015, so a redesign three years later in 2018 would make sense. Kuo also does not go into detail about what new health monitoring capabilities the fourth-generation Apple Watch might offer. Rumors have suggested Apple is exploring a sensor that would allow for continuous electrocardiograph monitoring to better detect serious heart conditions. Apple is also pursuing a method for non-invasively monitoring blood glucose levels, but that technology seems to be a bit away and may not make it into a 2018 Apple Watch update. Ming-Chi Kuo often shares accurate predictions about Apple's plans, so it's likely we can expect to see some kind of Apple Watch redesign this year. We'll be hearing more about Apple's plans as the watch's likely September release date gets

New Low-Cost 9.7-Inch iPad May Support Apple Pencil

Apple's new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad may include support for the Apple Pencil, according to a new note to investors shared this morning by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that he expects Apple Pencil shipments will rise to 9 to 10 million units in 2018 "given that the new low-cost iPad may support Apple Pencil." Kuo says Apple may add Apple Pencil support in order to differentiate the low-cost iPad from competing low-cost Android tablets. Strong demand for low-price 9.7-inch iPad in 2017. iPad shipments hit 43.8mn units in 2017, well above the 35mn units forecast by the market at the beginning of the year. The primary driver was the low-price 9.7-inch model, whose selling points are competitive pricing and a significantly larger panel than those of six- to seven-inch smartphones (iPad mini was a flop because it was replaced by large-screen smartphones). In a bid to strengthen its selling points and to differentiate it more from low-price Android tablets, the new low-price 9.7-inch iPad (starting mass production in 2Q18) will likely support Apple Pencil.There have been no previous rumors suggesting the low-cost iPad will include Apple Pencil support, but there was speculation that it could based on the design of the event invite that Apple sent out to members of the media. The invitation includes an Apple logo that's clearly been drawn using the Apple Pencil, which led people to think that the low-cost education-focused iPad might support Apple Pencil. It's not clear if Apple will offer schools the existing Apple Pencil or introduce a new, more

KGI: Samsung to Cancel Under-Display Fingerprint Sensor Plans for This Year's Galaxy Note 9

Samsung is unlikely to introduce an under-display fingerprint recognition feature in its 2018 flagship smartphone line-up, according to KGI Securities research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo had earlier predicted that the South Korean firm was planning to debut an under-screen fingerprint sensor in its Galaxy Note 9, due for release in the third quarter of this year, but Kuo now believes Samsung will cancel the feature because of technical issues. The following quote is taken from a KGI research note obtained by MacRumors and has been edited for clarity. While we previously predicted that Samsung's new flagship Galaxy Note 9, due out in 3Q18, will come equipped with an under-display fingerprint recognition function, we now believe Samsung will cancel this feature on Note 9 because both ultrasonic (provided by Qualcomm) and optical (provided by Samsung LSI, Goodix, Egis, and Synaptics) solutions cannot meet Samsung's technical requirements. According to Kuo's understanding of the technologies involved, under-display fingerprint solutions continue to have many technical issues surrounding the use of screen protectors as well as different environments affecting recognition rates and power consumption. Previous reports suggested Samsung decided not to include a fingerprint scanner under the display of the recently launched Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones due to similar technical difficulties. The fingerprint scanner remains positioned on the back of each device, just like the previous Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ models. However, despite the ongoing problems, KGI remains

KGI: Apple to Launch Cheaper MacBook Air in 2Q 2018

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research report encouraging investors to keep their eyes on three products for 2018: the rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, AirPods, and a "more affordable MacBook Air." The first two in that list have been widely discussed in recent weeks and months, but this is the first we've heard about an update to the MacBook Air. We expect Apple (US) to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.Kuo doesn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but the current models are certainly outdated as they haven't had any substantial updates in three years. Since that time, Apple has cut back on available models including a complete discontinuation of the 11-inch model. The only recent upgrade to the 13-inch model has been a bump to the base processor option last June, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–15 timeframe. Aside from obvious internal upgrades like processors and graphics, another area that could see improvement is the display, as the MacBook Air currently offers a 1440 x 900 non-Retina display. We'll likely also see some USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 upgrades and perhaps an overall redesign given the age of the current design. Kuo's claim of a

KGI: Apple Developing High-End Over-Ear Headphones, Launching Late 2018 at the Earliest

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note outlining his expectations for Apple's "acoustic accessories" pipeline, claiming the company is working on both updated AirPods and "own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones" with an "all-new design." The new over-ear headphones are said to debut in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest.Apple to have own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones with all-new design; to be as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality; shipments to begin 4Q18F at earliest; Primax & SZS will be the key suppliers & will benefit from high ASPs. We believe that after AirPods and HomePod, Apple’s next addition will be high-end over-ear headphones, making its acoustic accessory lineup more complete. Existing suppliers Primax and SZS will be Apple’s partners on this new product. Primax will receive assembly orders on its familiarity with the acoustic business, and SZS is likely to use MIM technology advantages as leverage to become the exclusive or main MIM part supplier. The new headphones will be priced higher than AirPods and should help boost the business momentum of Primax as the assembly provider. Beats Studio3 Wireless and current AirPods Kuo's prediction on upgraded AirPods follows a similar report just a few days ago from Bloomberg. Kuo says the new AirPods should launch in the second half of this year.We think the main difference of the upgraded AirPods, which won’t look much different from current AirPods, will be the wireless charging case and the adoption of an upgraded W1 chip. We believe that the

KGI: Apple Could Ship 100 Million Units of New 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, Replacing iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in 2018 Device Line-up

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today shared shipment projections with MacRumors for Apple's rumored 6.1-inch iPhone that he expects to launch in the second half of 2018. The device is said to have some iPhone X features such as Face ID, but design compromises will enable Apple to put it at a more affordable price point. They could include an LCD screen instead of an OLED display, an aluminum frame, a single lens camera, and no 3D Touch. We project shipments under the new product life cycle (4Q18-3Q19) for the 6.1" LCD iPhone, estimated to be launched in 2H18, will reach around 100mn units. According to Kuo's research note, shipment projections could fluctuate depending on the selling price of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, which Kuo believes will be somewhere between $700 and $800 in the United States. In his analysis, shipments will be around 105-115 million units when priced at US$699, and 95-105 million units when priced at US$799. The price could also depend on "whether Apple ultimately sees the new 6.1-inch LCD model as the successor of iPhone 8 or 8 Plus," according to Kuo. In a previous note, KGI Securities has said the 6.1-inch iPhone will have a standard non-stacked logic board and rectangular battery pack like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Kuo expects the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone to account for around 50 percent of the new iPhone line-up's shipments, with sales remaining strong into 2019. On that basis, today's shipping estimate suggests lifetime sales of 2018 iPhones could reach approximately 200 million units. The device is expected to be

KGI Expects Intel to Be Exclusive Supplier of Modems in 2018 iPhones

Intel could be the exclusive supplier of LTE modems for all new iPhones launched in 2018, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The key takeaway of the research note, obtained by MacRumors:We expect Intel to be the exclusive supplier of baseband chip for 2H18 new iPhone models, while Qualcomm may not have a share of the orders at all.Kuo previously expected Intel to supply 70 percent of the modems, with Qualcomm providing the remaining 30 percent of orders, but he now believes Intel will be the sole supplier given several competitive advantages. First and foremost, Intel's latest XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports both GSM and CDMA, meaning that Apple could release a single iPhone model that works across AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Intel modems previously lacked CDMA, meaning Apple could never fully ditch Qualcomm for all iPhone models. Apple is also embroiled in a major lawsuit with Qualcomm over anticompetitive licensing practices, and Kuo believes the iPhone maker switching to Intel as its exclusive modem supplier will place added pressure on Qualcomm. Kuo added that it's too early to tell if Intel will be able to maintain its position of exclusivity in the future, as Apple typically prefers to diversify its supply chain. He adds that Apple may give orders to Qualcomm again in exchange for concessions in the ongoing lawsuit between the two companies. Qualcomm was Apple's exclusive supplier of baseband chips until the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, when Intel began to share some of the orders. In order to make up for the lost iPhone

Ming-Chi Kuo Casts Doubt on iPhone SE 2, Expects Few Changes Should New Model Launch

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has sources within Apple's supply chain in Asia, has issued a research note today that casts doubt on rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE launching in the second quarter of 2018. Kuo believes Apple doesn't have enough spare development resources to focus on launching another iPhone, with three new models already in the pipeline, including a second-generation iPhone X with a "much different" internal design, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID but design compromises like an LCD screen. An excerpt from the research note, obtained by MacRumors, edited slightly for clarity:The announcement of three new iPhone models in the same quarter in the second half of 2017 was the first time Apple made such a major endeavor, and we believe the delay of iPhone X, which had the most complicated design yet, shows that Apple doesn't have enough resources available for development. […] With three new models in the pipeline for the second half of 2018, we believe Apple may have used up its development resources. Also, we think the firm will do all it can to avoid repeating the mistake of a shipment delay for the three new models. As such, we believe Apple is unlikely to have enough spare resources to develop a new iPhone model for launch in 2Q18.If there really is a so-called iPhone SE 2 on Apple's roadmap, Kuo expects it will have few outward-facing changes. He predicts the device would likely have a faster processor and a lower price, rather than iPhone X-like features like

KGI Shares Latest on 6.1-Inch iPhone, Next iPhone X and iPhone X Plus to Have 4GB of RAM and Two-Cell Batteries

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often relays information gathered from sources within Apple's supply chain in Asia, today shared a trio of new research notes that outline both new and existing predictions about the new iPhone X, iPhone X Plus, and lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone expected later this year. iPhone X Plus dummy model versus current iPhone X via Ben Geskin MacRumors obtained a copy of each research note, and we've rounded up the key points. More details are available in our 2018 iPhones roundup. All-New 6.1-inch iPhone with LCD New:• Taiwanese manufacturers Pegatron, Foxconn, and Wistron will be the key assemblers of the 6.1-inch iPhone, with 60 percent, 30 percent, and 10 percent allocation of EMS respectively • Japan Display will supply around 70 percent of LCD panels for the 6.1-inch iPhone. Rumors suggest Apple will use Japan Display's six-inch Full Active LCDs that only require ultra-slim 0.5mm bezels on all four sides Reiterated:• Nearly full screen design with no home button and notch for TrueDepth sensors • 3D sensing for Face ID and Animoji • Rectangular-shaped, one-cell battery with 2,850-2,950 mAh, up to 8.5 percent larger than current iPhone X. The increased capacity will be the result of a smaller logic board given manufacturing advancements • Lower price point: starting at between $700 and $800 in the United States The rumored 6.1-inch iPhone is shaping up to be a lower-priced iPhone X with some design compromises, which Kuo previously said will include an aluminum frame, a lack of 3D Touch, a single rather than dual lens rear

KGI: 6.1-Inch iPhone to Have Single-Lens Rear Camera, Aluminum Frame, 3GB RAM, and No 3D Touch, Cost $700-$800

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today shared additional details about the rumored 6.1-inch iPhone that he expects to launch in the second half of 2018. Note: KGI's image has a slight error. iPhone 8 Plus has 3GB of RAM. We already know the device is said to have some iPhone X features, including Face ID, but with some design compromises to achieve a cheaper price point. That will include an LCD screen, as known, and now Kuo says the device will have an aluminum frame, single-lens rear camera, and no 3D Touch. It's unclear if the back of the iPhone will also be forged from aluminum rather than glass, a tradeoff that would inhibit wireless charging. In a research note obtained by MacRumors on Tuesday, Kuo added that the 6.1-inch iPhone also won't adopt the iPhone X's stacked logic board and L-shaped battery pack. Instead, he said the device will have a standard non-stacked logic board and rectangular battery pack like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Kuo believes the 6.1-inch iPhone will be a mid-range device priced between $700 and $800 in the United States, up from his previous $650 to $750 estimate. The device is expected to be announced around September-October as usual alongside a new 5.8-inch iPhone X and a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus. The research note reads in part:Development schedule of new 6.1" LCD iPhone slightly behind 6.5" and 5.8" OLED models, but it may enjoy extended longevity into 1H19F, boosting slow season outlook: We predict the 6.1" LCD iPhone will differ from the 6.5" and 5.8" OLED models in terms of certain specs,

KGI: Apple to Discontinue iPhone X Rather Than Sell at Lower Price When Second-Generation Model Launches

Apple will discontinue the first-generation iPhone X when the second-generation model launches later this year, rather than bump the device down its smartphone lineup for lower than $999, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who clarified his earlier prediction with a follow-up research note today. Kuo said that Apple keeping the current iPhone X in its smartphone lineup for a reduced price, such as $899, would likely cannibalize sales of the mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID and a LCD display that he expects to launch in the second half of 2018 for between $650 and $750 in the United States. An excerpt from Kuo's research note obtained by MacRumors on Monday:iPhone X would hurt product brand value & lineup of 2H18 new models if it continues to sell at a lower price after 2H18 new models launch: Lowering iPhone X's price after the 2H18 new models launch would be a negative to product brand value given 3D sensing and OLED display are features of the new high-price model. Additionally, to sell iPhone X at a lower price may have a negative impact on shipments of the new 6.1" LCD iPhone in 2H18. Thus, we estimate iPhone X will reach end-of-life (EOL) around the middle of 2018.If accurate, Apple's smartphone lineup later in 2018 would consist of the second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, which will likely remain $999, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and the mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone. Below that would likely be iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and iPhone SE models. Here's how Apple's new iPhone lineup could look: • iPhone SE: $349 • iPhone

KGI: Larger-Sized iPhones Coming This Year Will Offset Weakening Demand for iPhone X in China

Weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone X in China has led market analysts to revise down shipments for the first half of 2018, but larger-sized iPhone models in the pipeline should see Apple grow its overall worldwide shipments year-on-year, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who shared the information in a new research report obtained by MacRumors. We revise down 1Q18 and 2Q18 shipments of iPhone X to 18mn units and 13mn units, respectively, lower than market consensus of 20-30mn and 15-20mn units. We expect iPhone X will go to end of life (EOL) around mid-2018 and that total life cycle shipments will be around 62mn units, lower than our previous forecast of 80mn units.Two main reasons are given for the weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone X in China. First, in Q4 2017, consumers were willing to wait on average 10 months longer before replacing their existing phones, compared to shorter replacement cycles in the year-ago quarter. In Q4 2016, smartphone users upgraded after between 14 and 16 months of ownership, compared to between 24 and 26 months in Q4 2017. The numbers are said to be reflected in lower shipment forecasts by Chinese phone makers for the second half of last year. The second big factor is said to be Chinese consumers' penchant for larger displays. According to Kuo, the notched design on the iPhone X isn't yet compatible with many popular Chinese apps, leading many customers to see it as offering less usable screen space than 5.5-inch iPhone Plus models. This confusion, coupled with the high price of iPhone X, is thought to have

Apple's Upgraded TrueDepth Camera System in Future iPhones Will Necessitate Larger Batteries

iPhone models released in 2019 and later will likely feature an upgraded TrueDepth camera system that will consume more power, resulting in a need for larger-capacity batteries, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said Apple has technologies at its disposal to develop larger-capacity batteries.Apple capable of designing new system for large-capacity batteries: We believe the adoption of TrueDepth camera for 3D sensing in 2017-18 will create demand for larger-capacity batteries. From 2019, we predict iPhone may adopt upgraded 3D-sensing and AR-related functions, and it will consume more power, further increasing demand for large-capacity batteries. We believe Apple's key technologies, including semiconductor manufacturing processes, system-in-package (SIP), and substrate-like PCB (SLP), will create the required space for larger batteries.Kuo unsurprisingly expects Apple will use these technologies to continue increasing iPhone battery capacities in 2019 and 2020, as it routinely does, which should result in even longer battery life for future models. Kuo reiterated that TrueDepth will be expanded to a trio of iPhone models next year, including a new 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch model we're calling iPhone X Plus, and a new 6.1-inch mid-range model with an LCD display, but it sounds like the facial system will remain unchanged in 2018. As far as next year is concerned, Kuo previously said the second-generation iPhone X could have a one-cell L-shaped battery that would provide up to 10 percent

Ming-Chi Kuo Expects Upgraded AirPods to Launch in Mid to Late 2018

Apple will release an upgraded version of AirPods in the second half of 2018, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors:Media reports over the past few days on brisk AirPods demand and Apple struggling to keep up with holiday season demand align with our findings and positive predictions on AirPods in several previous reports. […] In 2018, we predict AirPods shipments will grow 100% YoY to 26-28mn units. We forecast the ASP of RFPCB for upgraded AirPods in 2H18 may increase, further benefiting business momentum of Unitech and Compeq.Kuo said one internal change on the second-generation AirPods will include a "smaller quartz component," but he didn't provide any further details about new outward-facing features or improvements to expect. Kuo said the new AirPods will continue to be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturer Inventec, with individual components supplied by fellow Taiwanese companies such as Unitech, Compeq, TXC, and HLJ. Apple will also be releasing a new inductive AirPods charging case that will enable the wireless earphones to be charged with its new AirPower charging mat, which it said launches at some point in 2018. Apple teased the AirPower mat at its iPhone X event back in September. It will be able to charge the Apple Watch Series 3, an iPhone X or iPhone 8 model, and AirPods inside the new charging case simultaneously. As for the current AirPods, Kuo said Apple's suppliers are unable to make them quick enough to fully satisfy what he believes

2018 iPhone X Successor Could Feature Up to 10% More Powerful Battery With New 1-Cell Design

Next year's version of the iPhone X could feature up to 10 percent more battery power if Apple and LG Chem are able to deploy a one-cell design for the device's L-shaped battery, as opposed to the two-cell battery used in the iPhone X, according to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that was obtained by MacRumors. Kuo says the more space efficient one-cell design would allow Apple to boost battery capacity from 2716 mAh in the iPhone X to somewhere between 2900 and 3000 mAh for next year's 5.8-inch iPhone. As he previously claimed, Kuo believes Apple will release three new iPhones with TrueDepth cameras next year: a larger 6.5-inch OLED model that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus", a 5.8-inch OLED successor to the iPhone X, and a 6.1-inch LCD model. Today's report says that Apple is likely to use a two-cell battery design in the 6.5-inch model, but the larger size of the device will still allow it to have a capacity in the range of 3300 to 3400 mAh. Two new 2H18 iPhone models could adopt L-shaped battery (6.5” & 5.8” OLED models), with capacity upgraded for all models. In order to extend battery life, we believe it is necessary to expand battery capacity because all three new 2H18 models will be equipped with TrueDepth Camera, which consumes more power. We think Apple (US) is developing a 1-cell L-shaped battery in collaboration with LGC (KR). If the new battery enters mass production on time, the 5.8” OLED iPhone model will come with a battery with larger capacity (2,900-3,000mAh with higher RFPCB ASP $2.1-2.4). For the 6.1” LCD

KGI: AirPods Shipments Will Double Next Year Given Strong Demand

AirPods will remain one of Apple's most popular accessories in 2018, with shipments likely to double to an estimated 26-28 million units on a year-over-year basis, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo said there has been strong demand for AirPods, which he views as the most important accessory in Apple's wireless ecosystem. His prediction implies AirPods shipments will total 13-14 million units in 2017. An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note with investment firm KGI Securities, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors:We believe demand for AirPods has been strong, and note that the shipping time of the product on Apple's official shopping website has shortened to 1-3 days, mainly thanks to an improved assembly process and increased capacity from Luxshare as the new assembler […] We expect AirPods to remain one of the most popular Apple accessories in 2018, with shipments likely to rise 100% YoY to 26-28mn units next year.Chinese company Luxshare could become the main assembler of AirPods in 2018, with a higher order allocation than fellow supplier Inventec, after improving its assembly process and increasing production capacity. Apple doesn't break out AirPods sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wireless earphones under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats, iPods, and other accessories. Apple reported revenue of $3.2 billion from its "Other Products" category last quarter, up 36 percent year over year. Last month, on an earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was