Ming-Chi Kuo

Ming-Chi Kuo is an analyst at TF International Securities, a financial services group in the Asia-Pacific region. He gathers intelligence from his contacts in Apple's Asian supply chain, translating the information he gleans into research notes for clients.

His research notes often provide a solid look at Apple's future plans and while he is not always correct, his predictions on future Apple products are accurate enough to make him one of the most reliable sources for Apple rumors. Kuo previously worked for KGI Securities, Concord Securities, and DigiTimes.

'Ming-Chi Kuo' Articles

Kuo: 2019 iPhones and New iPad Pro Models in Late 2019 to Early 2020 to Adopt New Antenna Technology

Apple plans to use modified-PI (MPI) material for most antennas in 2019 iPhones, rather than the liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material used for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR antennas, according to the latest research note from reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that LCP limits the RF performance of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR antennas due to current technology limitations and production issues. This puts the RF performance of MPI material at least on par with LCP, despite MPI being easier and cheaper to produce. While switching to MPI material for 2019 iPhone antennas appears to be a no-brainer decision for Apple, Kuo expects that LCP will still be the primary material for 5G antennas in 2020 iPhones, as he believes that the production issues limiting the RF performance of LCP will be resolved by then. In today's note, Kuo also said he expects Apple to use LCP material in future iPad models, starting from the late fourth quarter of 2019. In a separate research note last month, which has only been seen by Taiwanese media so far, Kuo said two new iPad Pro models with the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes as the current models will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. Kuo said those new iPad Pro models will feature flexible circuit boards using LCP, but we've yet to receive that research note in English, so we cannot confirm any further details at this

Kuo: Two New AirPods Models Likely in Late 2019 to Early 2020, Including One With 'All-New Design'

Apple will likely launch two new AirPods models as early as the fourth quarter of 2019, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest research note, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo forecasts that two new AirPods models will likely go into mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, with Luxshare, Goertek, and Amkor expected to be Apple's primary suppliers of the new earphones. Kuo believes one of the new AirPods models will feature an "all-new form factor design" and a "higher price" than the second-generation AirPods, which cost $159 with a standard charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case. The other model is expected to be a more iterative update with the same pricing. Both new AirPods models are said to adopt a new system-in-package design internally, which can improve assembly yield rates, save space internally, and reduce costs, but Kuo does not elaborate on outward-facing design changes. The lead excerpt from Kuo's research note:We expect Apple will likely launch two new AirPods models in 4Q19 at the earliest. One is the all-new form factor design at a higher price. The other's outlook and price will be the same as the current model's. A common internal design factor of these two new AirPods will be to abandon the current "SMT+RFPCB" design and change to adopt the SiP design instead for improving assembly yield rates, saving internal space and reducing cost.Kuo is "positive on the demand for AirPods" and

Kuo: 2020 iPhones to Support 5G, Qualcomm and Samsung Likely to Supply Modems

2020 iPhones will support 5G networks, with chipmaker Qualcomm likely to be one of two 5G modem suppliers for the devices after settling its high-profile legal battle with Apple last week, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Interestingly, Kuo expects Samsung to be the other supplier in select markets. Apple frequently aims to diversify its supply chain in an effort to reduce risk and have improved bargaining power, potentially reducing its costs as multiple suppliers engage in a price war to secure the lucrative orders. An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note, obtained by MacRumors:Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal implies new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G; Qualcomm and Samsung are potential 5G baseband chip suppliers: The market was worried that Intel's disappointing 5G baseband chip development might be the most severe uncertainty for the new 2H20 iPhone models' adoption of 5G. But we believe the uncertainty has been removed after Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal, and Intel's announcement that it will exit the 5G baseband chip business. We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power.Kuo believes that 5G will be a boon for both iPhone sales and Apple's supply chain in 2020. He forecasts total iPhone shipments of 195–200 million units in 2020, including 70–75 million 5G models released

Kuo: 2019 iPhones to Feature 12MP Front Cameras, Special Black Coating to Hide Lenses, and More

All three 2019 iPhones will feature 12-megapixel single-lens front cameras, up from 7-megapixels on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, according to the latest research note from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The note, obtained by MacRumors, adds that the next iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED displays respectively will also feature triple-lens rear cameras, including a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel super-wide-angle lens supplied by Sony:We forecast the camera upgrade will be one of the new 2H19 iPhone's major selling points. Critical spec upgrades are as follows. (1) Rear cameras of 6.5-inch OLED, 5.8-inch OLED, and 6.1-inch LCD will likely upgrade to triple-camera and dual-camera, respectively. A super-wide camera will be newly adopted by the triple-camera system, which is equipped with the 12MP/1um CIS provided exclusively by Sony. (2) The front camera of all three new iPhone models will likely upgrade to 12MP CIS+5P lens (vs. current 7MP CIS+4P lens).Kuo believes the next iPhone XR with a 6.1-inch LCD display will sport a dual-lens rear camera, as the WSJ previously reported, although he did not provide megapixels or any other camera specifications for that model. The rear camera on the current iPhone XR is a single 12-megapixel wide-angle lens. Kuo says the rear super-wide-angle lens and front camera lens on the next iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will adopt "black

Kuo: New 31.6" Apple Display in 2019 and 15-17" MacBook in 2021 to Feature Mini-LED Backlights [Updated]

Apple plans to launch a trio of new products with Mini-LED backlights over the next two years, including a 31.6" display in the second or third quarter of 2019, a 10-12" iPad in late 2020 or early 2021, and a 15-17" MacBook in the first half of 2021, according to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple's discontinued Thunderbolt Display An excerpt from Kuo's research note, obtained by MacRumors:We believe that mini LED, compared to OLED, will be a more suitable solution to offer wide-color gamut (WCG)/high-contrast/high dynamic range (HDR)/local dimming features because of its longer life and no burn-in issues for Apple's medium- and large-size products targeting at productivity positions. We forecast that Apple will respectively launch an all-new design 31.6-inch monitor, a 10–12 inch iPad and a 15–17 inch MacBook equipped with a mini LED backlight unit (BLU) in 2–3Q19, 4Q20–1Q21 and 1–2Q21.Kuo believes that the 31.6-inch display "will target a very high-end position" and feature an "all-new design." In a previous research note, Kuo predicted that Apple would launch both a 31.6-inch display and a 16-16.5" MacBook Pro in 2019, so it's not entirely clear if the 15-17" MacBook refers to a separate notebook or if Kuo now believes the 16-16.5" MacBook Pro is coming a few years later than he originally

Two-Way Wireless Charging and Larger Batteries Coming to 2019 iPhones

Apple's 2019 iPhones are going to have a two-way wireless charging feature that will allow the iPhone to charge other devices like the AirPods, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo again confirmed in a report sent out to investors today. Kuo previously mentioned the feature briefly in a February note, and today he goes into a bit more depth about the suppliers who will benefit from the feature. Two-way wireless charging as demonstrated in the Galaxy S10+ Two-way wireless charging, or bilateral charging, will let the Qi-based iPhones coming in 2019 charge another iPhone or the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case. You'll essentially be able to charge any Qi-based device with your iPhone, as it will work as a wireless charger itself. From Kuo: We expect the new 2H19 iPhone models will support two-way wireless charging. Though the iPhone is not the first high-end smartphone to be equipped with two-way wireless charging, this new function could make it more convenient for users to charge the new AirPods and create a better integrated user experience of the iPhone and AirPods.This is a feature that Samsung has already debuted in its 2019 Galaxy smartphones, and in those devices, it's known as Wireless PowerShare. Wireless PowerShare allows the 2019 Galaxy smartphones to charge other Qi-based accessories, including the iPhone. According to Kuo, suppliers such as Compeq (will supply battery boards) and STMicro (will supply two-way wireless charging controller) stand to benefit from Apple's inclusion of two-way wireless charging as it

Kuo: Apple's AR Glasses to Launch in 2020 as iPhone Accessory

Apple's first rumored head-mounted augmented reality device could be ready by the middle of next year, according to a new report out today from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via Economic Daily News [Google Translate]). A fanciful mockup of digital glasses via TechAcute According to Kuo, Apple's AR glasses will be marketed as an iPhone accessory and primarily take a display role while wirelessly offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone. Designing the AR glasses to work as an iPhone accessory is also expected to allow Apple to keep the glasses slim and lightweight, rather than trying to pack in all the processing hardware into the one device. Kuo believes Apple is aiming to begin mass-producing the glasses as early as the fourth quarter of this year, although he admits the timeframe could be pushed back to the second quarter of 2020. Back in November 2017, Bloomberg reported that Apple was developing an AR headset and aimed to have it ready by 2019, although the company could ship a product in 2020. The report said the headset would run on a new custom operating system, based on iOS, and dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system." Apple has been exploring virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for more than 10 years based on patent filings. The company is also rumored to have a secret research unit comprising hundreds of employees working on AR and VR, exploring ways the emerging technologies could be used in future Apple products. Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked up the prospect of augmented reality several times, saying he

Kuo Increases Galaxy S10 Shipment Estimates Due to 'Spec Differentiation From iPhone Models'

Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who works for TF International Securities, today increased his forecast of Galaxy S10 shipments by 30 percent due to better than expected pre-order demand. Kuo attributes the better-than-expected shipment momentum to several factors including spec differentiation from iPhone models. Pre-order demand for the S10 series is better than expected. Worldwide pre-order demand for the S10 series grows by 30-40% YoY compared to that for the S9 series based on our survey. Therefore, we will increase shipment estimates of the S10 series in 2019 by 30% from 30-35mn to 40-45mn units. S10+ and S10 account for 85% or more of total shipments. We believe that the better-than-expected shipment momentum of S10 series is due to (1) the market's bearish view on high-end smartphone growth, (2) spec differentiation from iPhone models, including an ultrasonic fingerprint on display (FOD), rear triple-camera, and bilateral wireless charging, (3) much better-than-expected demand in China market, and (4) trade-in programs.As Kuo points out, there are notable differences between Samsung's newest phone and Apple's current crop of iPhones. Samsung devices have a triple-lens camera setup with an ultra-wide lens, and an ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor. Apple is rumored to be planning to introduce a similar camera setup in the 2019 iPhones, but because it uses Face ID facial recognition instead of a fingerprint sensor, Samsung's under-display fingerprint recognition technology will continue to set it apart from Apple. Kuo believes the

16-Inch MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display, AirPower, AirPods 2 and More Predicted for 2019 [Video]

Last night, we saw the release of a extensive research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who laid out his timeline for product releases from Apple in the coming year. MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera recaps Kuo's predictions in this video which covers an extensive range of products including an all new 16" MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display and much more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Kuo is well regarded in the rumor community due to a very good track record at predicting Apple's products. Kuo gathers intelligence from his contacts in Apple's Asian supply chain, translating the information he gleans into research notes for clients. Our Coverage16-Inch MacBook Pro With All-New Design Expected in 2019, 13-Inch Model May Gain 32GB RAM AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected Two New iPad Pro Models, 10.2-Inch iPad, and iPad Mini 5 Said to Launch in 2019 2019 iPhones Can Wirelessly Charge Other Devices, Feature Frosted Glass and Larger Batteries, and More Apple Said to Release 31.6-Inch 6K Display With Mini LED-Like Backlight Design in 2019 2019 Apple Watch: New Ceramic Casing, ECG Support for More Countries We've updated our Upcoming Apple Products Guide based on this new

AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected

Apple's long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat and a new version of AirPods with wireless charging support and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity will start shipping in the first half of 2019, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo also expects a new iPod touch with a faster processor to launch in 2019. While there's been a flurry of recent rumors about the AirPower and 2nd generation AirPods, there have also been conflicting reports on the possible launch dates for the two products. One recent report specifically placed the launch of the new AirPods in the fall of 2019. We were skeptical about that report at the time, and now Kuo gives another reason to believe that the new AirPods and AirPower will be shipping in the first half of this

Two New iPad Pro Models, 10.2-Inch iPad, and iPad Mini 5 Said to Launch in 2019

In a thorough research note outlining Apple's plans for 2019, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo describes his outlook for the next iPad lineup. According to Kuo, Apple plans to release two new iPad Pro models, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a refreshed iPad mini, each equipped with an upgraded processor, later this year. Rumors of a refreshed iPad mini ("iPad mini 5") have been consistent over the past few months. Apple in January registered seven new iPad models with the Eurasian Economic Commission, and at least some of these are believed to be the iPad mini. The others may be a new version of the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad. According to Kuo, the 9.7-inch iPad will be bumped up to 10.2 inches in 2019. No other details on the "two new iPad Pros" are given, but a release would likely be later in 2019 given their relatively recent updates.

Kuo: 2019 iPhones Can Wirelessly Charge Other Devices, Feature Frosted Glass and Larger Batteries, and More

In a thorough research note outlining Apple's plans for 2019, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo describes his outlook for the next iPhone lineup. According to Kuo, the 2019 iPhone lineup will mirror that of the current lineup, including 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED models as well as a 6.1-inch LCD model. As for changes to expect in 2019, Kuo says the iPhone XR successor may be upgraded to 4GB of RAM, while all models will include frosted glass casing, larger batteries, the ability to wirelessly charge other devices, and new technology for indoor positioning and navigation.The new 5.8" OLED may support DSDS, and the new 6.1" LCD may be upgraded to 4GB. All of part of the new models’ main upgrades include Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) for indoor positioning and navigation, frosted glass casing, bilateral wireless charging for charging other devices, upgraded Face ID (with a higher power flood illumination), larger batteries, and triple camera feature (wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lens).Kuo also says all three models will include Lightning connectors rather than USB-C and have the same notch area as current models, contradicting other rumors of smaller notches.

Apple Said to Release 31.6-Inch 6K Display With Mini LED-Like Backlight Design in 2019

Apple will release a 31.6-inch 6K display with a Mini LED-like backlight design in 2019, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who detailed his expectations for Apple's 2019 roadmap in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Apple left the display market back in 2016 with the discontinuation of the outdated Thunderbolt Display. Apple did, however, say they were working on a new screen alongside the new Mac Pro. Apple's Phil Schiller said in 2017:With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call "completely rethinking the Mac Pro." We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers. As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do. Kuo describes the new monitor as a "6k3k"

16-Inch MacBook Pro With All-New Design Expected in 2019, 13-Inch Model May Gain 32GB RAM

Apple will release a new MacBook Pro with a 16-inch to 16.5-inch display and an all-new design in 2019, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Tonight, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note looking at Apple's releases in 2019. MacRumors has obtained a copy of the report and perhaps the most exciting prediction for Mac users is the revelation that Apple is working on a 16"-16.5" MacBook Pro. Unfortunately the report provides few details beyond that it is an "all-new" design, suggesting Apple is revamping their current MacBook Pro design. A 16"-16.5" screen would be the largest screen Apple has provided on a MacBook Pro since the discontinuation of the 17" MacBook Pro in 2012. Close followers of Apple's MacBook Pro refresh cycle have been expecting Apple to continue with the current design until at least 2020. The MacBook Pro last saw a redesign only two and half years ago. Kuo also says Apple may add a 32GB RAM option to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, without providing further details. More Predictions from Kuo: - AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected - Two New iPad Pro Models, 10.2-Inch iPad, and iPad Mini 5 Said to Launch in 2019 - 2019 iPhones Can Wirelessly Charge Other Devices, Feature Frosted Glass and Larger Batteries, and More - Apple Said to Release 31.6-Inch 6K Display With Mini LED-Like Backlight Design in 2019

Ming-Chi Kuo Says 'Worst Soon Over' in Regards to Slowing iPhone Sales

Earlier this month, Apple lowered its revenue guidance for the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year by up to $9 billion due to fewer iPhone upgrades than it anticipated, particularly in the Greater China region. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, believes the "worst" will be "soon over" in regards to the slowdown. In his latest research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo opined that the "share prices of Apple and most iPhone suppliers are generally priced in the negative."Our report published on December 14, 2018, was the first to cut the estimation of 2019 iPhone shipments to 190mn units or less; the current market consensus on 2019 iPhone shipments (160–180mn units) is much lower than our estimation and we believe the share prices of Apple and most iPhone suppliers are generally priced in the negative. We maintain our forecast of 188–192mn units for 2019 iPhone shipments. We believe the downside risks of share prices for the Apple and iPhone supply chain are limited in the near term given that 2Q19 iPhone shipments will likely be better than the market consensus.Kuo has slightly cut his estimate for iPhone shipments in the first quarter of 2019 from 38–42 million units to 36–38 million units because the "demand for new models in China and emerging markets is lower than expected," but he believes the decline will begin to ease starting in the second quarter. Specifically, he estimates iPhone shipments in the second quarter of 2019 will reach 34–37 million units, slightly higher than the market consensus of 30–35 million

Ming-Chi Kuo Says iPhone XR Demand Has Been Lower Than Expected, Slashes Shipment Estimates

iPhone XR demand has been lower than expected, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has slashed his overall iPhone shipment forecast by 20 percent for the first quarter of 2019. He now expects Apple to move 38-42 million iPhones in the quarter, down from his original estimate of 47-52 million. Kuo, in a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors:We have reduced our 1Q19 iPhone shipment estimation by 20% to 38–42mn units (vs. our previous forecast of 47–52mn): We cut the 1Q19 iPhone shipment estimation again for the following reasons. (1) Lower-than-expected XR demand. We have reduced our 1Q19 XR shipment estimation to 15–20mn units vs. our previous forecast of 20–25mn units. (2) The increase in orders of legacy iPhone models cannot offset the decline of XR and XS series shipments because of the low season impact.Apple reported sales of 52.2 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2018, which corresponds with the second quarter of Apple's fiscal year, so as few as 38 million units in the first quarter of 2019 would be a significant year-over-year decline. For the iPhone XR in particular, Kuo has revised his shipment estimate to 15-20 million for the first quarter, down from 20-25 million. Kuo estimates annual iPhone shipments will fall between 205 million and 210 million in 2018, and based on that, forecasts that annual iPhone shipments in 2019 will decline up to 10 percent to a range of 188 million to 194 million. This would fall below Wall Street's consensus estimate of around 212 million units in 2019. While this news

Next-Gen AirPods to Spark Intense Competition in Smart Earbuds Market Next Year

Continuing improvements to Apple's popular AirPods wireless earphones will trigger an intense round of ear-device innovation and competition in 2019 as tech companies look to other avenues for growth amid declining smartphone sales, according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note published today and obtained by MacRumors, Kuo predicted that AirPods, which are the most successful current Apple product, will rapidly grow in popularity next year when upgraded models appear, with many brands to follow Apple's steps with their own competing products. Kuo also laid out how he expects the in-ear devices to evolve over the coming years in the context of Apple's ecosystem. We believe that the AirPods are more than just earbuds for Apple and will become increasingly important in Apple's ecosystem for the following reasons. (1) They increase the switching costs for users to Android from the iOS ecosystem. (2) This is an important device for voice assistant/AI services because it can easily enable the voice assistant. (3) The ear is a perfect sensing area for detecting various health data. It may integrate with the Apple Watch to offer better health management in the future.For an idea of the potential health integrations Apple has in mind for future AirPods, a new patent awarded to Apple on Tuesday (spotted by 9to5Mac) shows AirPod-like devices performing heart rate monitoring and taking body temperature measurements. With smartphone shipments slowing, more brand vendors are said to be paying attention to wireless earbud sales as a way to generate growth in

Kuo: AirPods With Wireless Charging Case Expected in Early 2019, All-New Model in Early 2020

In a brief research note highlighting Apple's suppliers for its popular AirPods wireless earphones, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that new AirPods with a wireless charging case will debut in the first quarter of 2019, with an "all-new design model" following in the first quarter of 2020. The updates are predicted to drive strong sales growth for the product. We attribute AirPods' dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively) to 1) the upgraded model with wireless charging support to benefit shipments to launch in 1Q19, 2) the all-new design model to boost replacement demand to launch in 1Q20, 3) an innovative user experience, and 4) high integration with iOS and Mac products. In summary, AirPods is Apple's most popular accessory ever, and it currently has the best growth momentum among Apple products.Kuo notes that fewer than 5 percent of iPhone users currently own AirPods, and with over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide, there are "great potential growth opportunities" for the accessory. Nearly a year ago, Kuo predicted Apple would launch upgraded AirPods in the second half of 2018, but Apple's difficulties in bringing its AirPower charging mat to market have undoubtedly impacted its AirPods plans to some degree. Just ahead of Apple's October media event, Kuo noted he was uncertain about the timing for an AirPods update, indicating it could come late in the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of

Ming-Chi Kuo Cuts iPhone XR Lifecycle Shipment Estimates by 30 Million

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note today, cutting his shipment estimates for the iPhone XR due to several factors. He believes that some of the decline will be offset by higher demand for iPhone XS and older "legacy" models, but he is still reducing his overall iPhone shipment forecasts by 15–20 percent for the first quarter of 2019. We have reduced our iPhone XR shipment estimation from 100mn units to 70mn during the new product lifecycle (4Q18–3Q19) for the following reasons: 1) Negative impacts on consumer confidence from the trade war, especially in the Chinese market, 2) expectations from more users for more affordable XR or the dual-camera and narrower bezel design to be provided at the current price level, and 3) competition from Huawei's Mate 20 series. We have reduced our XR shipment estimations for 4Q18, 1Q19, and 2Q19 by 30–35%, 25–30%, and 25–30% to 30–35, 20–25, and 10–15mn units, respectively.Kuo believes that iPhone shipments for the current quarter will be in the same 75–80 million range he previously predicted, while he has lowered his first-quarter estimate to 47–52 million from a previous range of 55–60 million. Kuo's prediction is somewhat curious given that he raised his early iPhone XR estimate a little less than a month ago and cited stronger demand than seen for the iPhone 8 last year with the potential for more stable demand over time. Apple's stock price is down over 4 percent today, outpacing broader market declines and falling to its lowest point since the end of

Kuo: 2019 iPhones to Adopt New MPI Antenna Technology, Combined With Existing LCP Components

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published a new report over the weekend, related to the introduction of new antenna technology that could be coming in next year's iPhone lineup. According to the analyst, Modified PI (MPI) will replace Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) to become the mainstream antenna technology for the 2019 iPhones, but LCP will still be found in the smartphones. Kuo says that complicated production processes of LCP and Apple's lower bargaining power against LCP material suppliers will contribute to this change. LCP is also said to be more brittle and as such unfavorable for module production yield rate, so improving these rates has the chance to lower the antenna's performance based on current technology limitations. In total, Kuo believes that there will be a mix of LCP and MPI antennae in the upcoming 6.5-inch, 5.8-inch, and 6.1-inch iPhone models for 2019: four MPI antennae and two LCP antennae. Currently, the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR are equipped with six LCP antennae. With the switch, LCP shipments for the new iPhones in 2019 will decrease by at least 70 percent year-on-year. As we enter the era of 5G, Kuo estimates that both MPI and LCP "will coexist" during the transition to the new wireless communications standard. While the market is reportedly confident that the coming 5G era will boost LCP materials growth, Kuo says this expectation may be corrected because many mid-range and low-end smartphones will likely switch to MPI antennae during the transition from 4G to 5G. Besides antennae, current rumors for the 2019 iPhones again predict three