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: iPad Pro With Rear 3D Sensing and 'iPhone SE 2' on Track to Launch in First Half of 2020

Apple plans to release new iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing in the first half of 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note with TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said the iPad Pro models will gain 3D sensing through the rear-facing camera system. Apple is expected to use a time-of-flight system, which measures the time that it takes for light to bounce off of objects in a room to generate a 3D map. The timeframe lines up with a recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who also said Apple plans to release iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing as early as the first half of 2020. Gurman expects the iPad Pro models to feature dual rear cameras, up from a single lens, along with a new augmented reality sensor. Kuo also reiterated that Apple plans to release a so-called "iPhone SE 2" in the first half of 2020 too. He has previously said the device will be released by the end of the first quarter with similar features as the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display and Touch ID, but with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM. The low-cost iPhone will likely start around $399 with 64GB of storage, and come in Space Gray, Silver, and Red, according to Kuo. Kuo has made both the iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone predictions in the past, so this really only serves as an update that the plans are still on track for early next year. Apple often holds a media event in March, and it is certainly possible the new iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone could be announced then. It is worth noting that Kuo is likely just referring to the device as the

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 6 Models to Feature Faster Performance and Improved Water Resistance

While the Apple Watch Series 5 lineup was released less than two months ago, rumors are already looking ahead to next year. In a research note with investor firm TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that 2020 Apple Watch models will feature faster performance, improved water resistance, and improved wireless transmission for potentially faster Wi-Fi and cellular speeds. Kuo believes all of these advancements will be made possible by Apple's switch to liquid crystal polymer or LCP material for the flexible circuit boards in next year's Apple Watch models, expected to launch in the second half of the year as usual. Series 5 models and earlier use a material known as polyimide or PI. Dongshan Precision, Avary Holding, and Flexium Interconnect will be the primary LCP suppliers, according to Kuo. It would not be surprising if so-called Apple Watch Series 6 models feature a faster Apple-designed S chip, as the only known differences with the S5 chip in Series 5 models compared to the S4 chip in Series 4 models is a built-in compass and a new always-on display driver, so a performance bump will be due next year. As for water resistance, Apple Watch Series 2 models are already suitable for swimming or showering and can be submerged to a depth of up to 50 meters. With further improvements, perhaps Series 6 models could be certified for some high-velocity water activities such as scuba diving or water skiing. Previous reports have suggested that 2020 Apple Watch models may also feature sleep tracking and Mi

Kuo: Apple Expected to Sell at Least 20 Million 'iPhone SE 2' Models in 2020

Apple is rumored to be working on an updated lower-cost "iPhone SE 2," which is set to be released in 2020. In a new research note to investors highlighting supplier expectations for the new device that was seen by MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared some sales predictions. Kuo believes Apple will ship at least 20 million ‌iPhone SE 2‌ units in 2020, following the device's launch in the first half of the year. An optimistic situation, says Kuo, is 30 million units. iPhone SE and iPhone 8 According to Kuo, the ‌iPhone SE 2‌ will use a 10-layer Substrate-like PCB (SLP) for its motherboard, which will benefit some iPhone suppliers like Pending Holdings, Xinxing, and AT&S despite the fact that it's expected to be a less expensive component than the SLP used in the iPhone 11 series. In prior research notes, Kuo has shared quite a lot of detail on the "‌iPhone SE 2‌," which, despite the somewhat misleading name, is actually closer in design and specification to an ‌iPhone 8‌. The device will feature a 4.7-inch display, a single-lens rear camera, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It will ship with the same A13 chip that's in the ‌iPhone 11‌ and 11 Pro, and it will have 3GB RAM. The only thing that's "‌iPhone SE 2‌" about the upcoming iPhone is its price, which is expected to be $399. At that price point, it will replace the ‌iPhone 8‌, which Apple currently sells for $449. Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone is expected to be a very popular upgrade option for iPhone users who are still holding on to an older model like an iPhone 6 or 6s and are

Kuo Says New MacBook With Scissor Keyboard to Launch in Mid 2020, Unclear if 16-Inch Model Delayed

Apple plans to introduce a new MacBook model with a scissor switch keyboard in the late second quarter or early third quarter of 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, suggesting the notebook could be announced at either WWDC in June or with a press release in July next year. 16-inch MacBook Pro concept by MacRumors In a research note today for TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron will be the primary supplier of parts for the scissor switch keyboards in 2020. It is unclear if this represents a delay of the widely rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro, which Kuo said would launch in the fourth quarter of 2019 with a scissor switch keyboard. There was some hope that Apple would announce the 16-inch MacBook Pro with a press release this morning, but that did not happen. Kuo has previously predicted that Apple will transition its entire notebook lineup to scissor switch keyboards in 2020, including all MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. The last MacBook Pro to feature scissor switches was released in 2015 before Apple moved to its problematic butterfly mechanism.

Kuo: 'iPhone SE 2' Entering Mass Production in January and Launching at the End of March

Apple's "iPhone SE 2" is scheduled to go into mass production in January 2020 and will launch at the end of March, according to the latest information from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The timing basically tallies with Kuo's previous reports on the so-called "‌iPhone SE 2‌," in which he predicted a Q1 2020 release for the device, which is expected to start at $399. Relying on historical patterns in Apple's product release schedule to predict future launches is not without risk, but March has traditionally been the launch month of Apple's more affordable iPhone. The original iPhone SE was announced on March 21, 2016, pre-orders began on March 24 and the device was officially released on March 31, 2016. It was re-released almost a year later on March 24, 2017 with larger storage capacities. Apple has also held special launch events in the last week of March for the last two years. Specs for the new low-end iPhone are said to include: 4.7-inch displayA13 CPU (same as iPhone 11)3GB LPDDR4X RAM64GB and 128GB optionsSpace Gray, Silver and Red colorsHome buttonNo 3D TouchKuo expects the device to look similar to the iPhone 8 and believes it will be a popular upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners, serving as a "key growth driver" for Apple in 2020. He believes these customers have low desire for new features like Face ID and multiple cameras, suggesting the "‌iPhone SE 2‌" will stick with Touch ID and a single-lens rear camera. In terms of shipments, Kuo estimates that monthly shipments of the ‌iPhone SE 2‌ will be between 2

Kuo: iPhone SE 2 Launching in Q1 2020 with A13 at $399 Price

Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of 2020 and starting at a $399 price point, according to the latest research report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo goes into more detail about the expected specs of the so called "‌iPhone SE 2‌" in the latest research note obtained by MacRumors. Specs for the new low-end iPhone are said to include: A13 CPU (same as iPhone 11)3GB LPDDR4X64GB and 128GB optionsSpace Gray, Silver and Red colorsNo 3D TouchKuo expects the new ‌iPhone SE 2‌ will be a popular upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners. Despite being referred to as a "‌iPhone SE 2‌" by Kuo, the analyst expects the form factor of Apple's new budget iPhone to be similar to the iPhone 8.

Kuo: iPad Pro With Rear 3D ToF Camera and Scissor Mechanism MacBooks to Launch in First Half of 2020

Apple will launch a new iPad Pro with a rear-facing 3D Time of Flight camera in the first quarter of 2020, according to a new report out today from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and seen by MacRumors. We've previously heard multiple rumors suggesting a time-of-flight camera system for Apple's 2020 iPhones and iPad Pros, including info from Kuo himself, but this is the first time that he's specified the 3D sensing camera system will be available in new ‌iPad Pro‌ models to be released early next year. A time-of-flight camera system measures the time that it takes for a laser or LED to bounce off of objects in a room, providing an accurate 3D map of the surroundings. A rear time-of-flight camera would also bolster photo quality and offer new and improved AR applications. Two of the iPhones set to be released in 2020 will also feature 3D sensing rear camera setups with time-of-flight (ToF) camera lenses, according to a previous note from Kuo in July. The Apple analyst has also revealed his predicted schedule for Apple's MacBook lineup refresh. We've already learned that Apple is planning to use a scissor mechanism rather than a butterfly mechanism for its upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is expected to be announced as soon as this month. However, Kuo has said that after the 16-inch MacBook Pro launches, future Macs coming in 2020 will also swap over to a scissor mechanism rather than a butterfly mechanism, resulting in more durable keyboards that are not as prone to failure from heat, dust and other small particulates. Kuo now predicts that Apple's

Kuo: Apple's AR Headset to Launch in Second Quarter of 2020

Apple's augmented reality headset will enter mass production as soon as the fourth quarter of this year in time for an early 2020 launch, according to a new report out today from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and seen by MacRumors. An Apple Glasses mockup In his latest research note with TF International Securities, the analyst says Apple will cooperate with third-party brands to launch its first head-mounted AR product in 2020, with Changying Precision tipped to be the main chassis supplier. A Kuo report in March claimed Apple would launch an AR product in 2020 that could be ready by the middle of next year. However, Kuo has brought forward his predicted time of release and the analyst now believes the launch window for the product will fall in the second quarter of 2020. Back in July, a DigiTimes report claimed Apple had suspended its AR headset project, but just last month, code found in Xcode 11 and iOS 13 confirmed that Apple is still working on an augmented reality headset of some kind. Within the internal Find My app bundle that MacRumors exclusively shared, there is also an icon depicting what appears to be an AR or VR headset that looks similar to the Google Cardboard. Kuo understands that 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

Kuo: iPhone 11 Demand and Upcoming Launch of 'iPhone SE 2' to Boost Overall iPhone Sales Growth in Q1 2020

Apple will sell around 10 percent more iPhones in the first quarter of 2020, thanks to strong replacement demand for its iPhone 11 series devices and next year's launch of the "iPhone SE 2," claims Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest research note, seen by MacRumors. We expect that combined iPhone shipments in 1Q20 will grow around 10% YoY thanks to the ‌iPhone 11‌'s replacement demand boosted by more affordable prices and iPhone SE2's shipments starting in 1Q20. We estimate that iPhone shipment in 1Q20 will be 45–50mn units (iPhone 11 Pro series and ‌iPhone 11‌ to be 13–15 and 22–24mn units, respectively), which is better than around 42mn units of iPhone shipments in 1Q19 (iPhone XS series and iPhone XR to be around 12 and 14mn units, respectively). The TFI Securities analyst estimates that ‌iPhone 11‌ series shipments will reach between 70 and 75 million units in 2019, and he believes that figure may have been higher but for supply constraints. A Nikkei report previously claimed Apple has upped orders from suppliers after stronger-than-expected demand for its latest flagship phones. Specifically, Kuo estimates that shipments of the ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ in 2019 will be around 37-40 million units, and shipments of the ‌iPhone 11‌ will be around 36 to 40 million units. If those figures are accurate, Kuo says Pro series shipments will be lower than last year's equivalent ‌iPhone XS‌ shipments, but only because of a tighter supply caused by "increased production difficulties" of specific ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ components. Meanwhile, shipments of ‌iPhone 11‌ will be higher

Kuo: Apple to Launch 'iPhone SE 2' in Early 2020 With Similar Design as iPhone 8, A13 Chip, and 3GB RAM

Apple plans to release a lower-priced "iPhone SE 2" in the first quarter of 2020, according to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said the device will feature a similar form factor design and specifications as the iPhone 8, with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM:We forecast that Apple will launch the more affordable iPhone SE2 in 1Q20. For the most part, the form factor design and hardware spec are similar to ‌iPhone 8‌'s. The most significant hardware spec upgrade will be the adoption of the A13 processor and 3GB LPDDR4X. iPhone SE2 will likely increase iPhone's market share and benefit Apple's promotions for service and content. We expect that the iPhone SE2 shipment will reach 30–40mn units in 2020.Kuo believes the "‌iPhone SE 2‌" will be the "best upgrade choice" for an estimated 100 million remaining iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, serving as a "key growth driver" for Apple in 2020. He believes these customers have low desire for new features like Face ID and multiple cameras, suggesting the "‌iPhone SE 2‌" will stick with Touch ID and a single-lens rear camera. Kuo's prediction lines up with multiple other sources that have claimed Apple plans to release a new lower-cost iPhone 8-esque device next year, including the Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News, Japanese publication Nikkei Asian Review, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu. Those earlier reports indicated the device will sport a 4.7-inch display and a ‌Touch ID‌ home button like the ‌iPhone 8‌. Apple continues to

Kuo: High-End iPad and MacBook With Mini-LED Displays to Launch Between Late 2020 and Mid 2021

Reiterating a prediction he shared in April, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today said Apple plans to release high-end iPad and MacBook models with Mini-LED displays between late 2020 and mid 2021. In a research note for TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, Kuo added that the iPad and MacBook displays will each use approximately 10,000 LEDs, compared to 576 in Apple's upcoming Pro Display XDR. Each LED is said to be below 200 microns in size, significantly smaller than those in the Pro Display XDR. Kuo previously said the iPad and MacBook models will have 10-12 inch and 15-17 inch display sizes respectively, and he also expects them to be high-end devices due to costly Mini-LED display components. Altogether, that means these will likely be iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models, but Kuo has not specified. Although mass production of medium-sized OLED displays has gradually improved, and the wide color gamut performance of OLED is comparable to that of Mini-LED, Kuo believes Mini-LED is Apple's first choice to avoid burn-in issues and to reduce its dependance on Samsung for supply of OLED displays. LG Display will supply the Mini-LED display panels, while other Mini-LED component suppliers will include Epistar, Zhen Ding, Radiant Opto-Electronics, Nichia, Avary Holding, and TSMT, according to Kuo. Kuo believes the Mini-LED displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while also offering good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and HDR, and local dimming, which dims the backlight behind areas of the screen that are displaying

Kuo: 2020 iPhones to Have Redesigned Metal Frame Similar to iPhone 4

Apple will unveil redesigned iPhones next year that boast a new metal frame structure reminiscent of the iPhone 4, according to a research note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and seen by MacRumors. In his research note with TF International Securities, Kuo says Apple will change its flagship iPhone design "significantly" next year. Specifically, the new devices will feature a new metal frame with "a more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure."We predict that the new 2H20 iPhone design will change significantly [...] The metal frame and the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design. Jony Ive's design for the iPhone 4 was the first smartphone to introduce the concept of an exposed squared-edged aluminum frame sandwiched between two panes of strengthened glass – a design that has been variously copied in the smartphone industry. Apple's iPhone has undergone several changes since, with the latest iPhone 11 using an aluminum frame that wraps around the rounded corners of a display housed in an all-glass enclosure, and the iPhone 11 Pro devices sharing a matte glass material encased in a durable stainless steel frame. Notably, Apple has adopted a different design for the iPad Pro, which features a more industrial band around the sides that's also reminiscent of the iPhone 4. Kuo believes the grooving and injecting of the

Kuo: iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max Have Accounted for Combined 55% of Pre-Orders

Yesterday, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max pre-orders have been better than expected so far, noting that demand for the higher-end iPhone 11 Pro models is particularly strong in the United States due to trade-in and financing options. In a follow-up research note with TF International Securities today, seen by MacRumors, Kuo now specifies that the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max models have accounted for 55 percent of pre-orders to date. By extension, that would mean the lower-priced iPhone 11 has comprised 45 percent of pre-orders. Kuo notes that shipment volumes of the higher-end OLED display models are "better than last year." A year ago, he estimated the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max would account for a combined 40-45 percent of 2018 iPhone lineup shipments. While the iPhone 11 should be the best-selling iPhone of the 2019 lineup, Apple's push towards monthly installments like the iPhone Upgrade Program may be convincing more customers to opt for the higher-priced models, as the $999-plus price tags are less steep when they are spread out over two years. Apple no longer shares iPhone pre-order figures, nor has it ever disclosed iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis, so it is unclear how Kuo's "survey" results are determined, but Apple's online shipping estimates are one factor. In today's note, Kuo also reiterated that 2020 iPhones will feature 3D sensing time-of-flight rear cameras with 7P

Kuo: iPhone 11 Order Demand Better Than Expected, New Colors Particularly Popular

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro order demand is ahead of expectations since the start of pre-orders on Friday, according to a research note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by MacRumors. Basing his analysis in part on Apple's online shipping estimates, Kuo believes demand is "significantly stronger" for the ‌iPhone 11‌ in the new green and purple colors and the ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ in midnight green, but he notes that the latter model is facing production issues and is currently constrained. The shipping times of midnight green ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, green ‌iPhone 11‌, and purple ‌iPhone 11‌ are all two–three weeks or longer. The shipping times of other colors are roughly shorter than ten days. It should be noted that the glass casings of midnight green models are currently facing production issues; therefore, it makes the shipping time longer.Kuo sees demand for the more expensive ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ being higher in the U.S., while the cheaper ‌iPhone 11‌ series is doing particularly well in the Chinese market. As a result, TF Securities has increased its forecast of ‌iPhone 11‌ shipments in 2019 to 70–75 million units (versus the previous 65–70 million units), and predicts the iPhone supply chain will grow steadily in the fourth quarter. Kuo believes the ‌iPhone 11‌ is an excellent upgrade choice for iPhone 6/6s/7 users, especially because of its lower price, which is roughly equivalent to 1–1.3 times the average monthly salary in China. Kuo says this is "close to the price sweet spot," given that the iPhone XR's price equivalence was 1.5–1.7 times the average monthly

Kuo Shares 2019 iPhone Expectations: 18W USB-C Charger for Higher-End Models, Bilateral Wireless Charging Might Not Happen

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this afternoon sent out a note to investors recapping his expectations for Apple's 2019 iPhone lineup, which is set to be unveiled during tomorrow's September 10 event. Much of what's included in the note, which was seen by MacRumors, covers predictions that we've previously heard many times, though Kuo offers up details on some rumors that were previously not confirmed, along with some new information on the potential bilateral wireless charging feature and the USB-C chargers we've heard about. Here's a roundup of the information shared in the report: New iPhones won't support Apple Pencil. New iPhones will feature a Lightning connector, not a USB-C port. 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED models will ship with an 18W adapter with a USB-C connector. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will continue to ship with a 5W power adapter with a USB-A connector. The new iPhones may not support two-way wireless charging after all "because the charging efficiency may not meet Apple’s requirements." Design and notch of new iPhones to be unchanged. New colors expected (likely referring to the new colors for the XR). Triple-lens cameras for the 5.8 and 6.5-inch iPhones. All three iPhones will offer ultra-wideband support for improved indoor navigation and object tracking purposes. Ultra-wideband support is perhaps one of the most interesting changes that's gotten limited coverage. It's a short-range, low-power radio technology that offers more precise indoor positioning than Bluetooth LE and WiFi, which suggests that Apple's rumored Tile-like Apple

Kuo: 'Apple Tags' to Feature Ultra-Wideband Technology, Likely Far More Precise Than Tile's Trackers

Last week, MacRumors revealed new details about Apple's upcoming Tile competitor, with internal iOS 13 code suggesting that Apple plans to release small, circular "tags" that can be attached to electronic devices, backpacks, keys, and other personal belongings to keep track of their locations. Apple Tags concept by MacRumors Now, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has thrown his weight behind this rumor. In a research note with TF International Securities today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said he expects Apple's tags to feature ultra-wideband or "UWB" technology. As he has said previously, Kuo also expects all three 2019 iPhones to support UWB. Ultra-wideband is a short-range, low-power radio technology that is able to provide more precise indoor positioning than Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi, suggesting that Apple's tags will be more accurate at pinpointing the location of lost items than Tile's current item trackers, which rely on Bluetooth LE. The distance between two UWB devices — such as an upcoming iPhone and Apple Tag — can be measured precisely by calculating the time that it takes for a radio wave to pass between the two devices, according to Electronic Design, which notes that UWB is up to 100× more accurate than Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi:In practice, UWB signals are able to effectively measure distance between two devicesNo with 5- to 10-cm accuracy, compared to roughly 5-m accuracy for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When implemented in a system of fixed beacons tracking tag locations, the locations can be calculated to within 10-cm accuracy.It is unclear if Apple's tags

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 5 Lineup to Launch in Fall With OLED Displays Supplied by Japan Display

Japan Display will supply OLED displays for new Apple Watch Series 5 models slated to launch in the second half of 2019, according to the latest prediction from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note with TF International Securities shared with Chinese media outlets today, Kuo forecasted that Japan Display will gradually increase its proportion of OLED display orders for the ‌Apple Watch‌, starting with 15-20 percent of orders in 2019 and reaching 70-80 percent in 2021. Kuo believes that Apple will also gradually increase the proportion of LG's supply of OLED displays for iPhones, and tap Chinese manufacturer BOE as an additional supplier, in a bid to diversify its supply chain. ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 5 models will likely be unveiled next month alongside a trio of new iPhones. This would hardly be a surprise, as Series 1 through Series 4 models all launched in September, but specific rumors about Series 5 models have actually been relatively quiet, so this is nice reassurance. For example, Kuo previously said a "new ceramic casing design" would be "added" to the ‌Apple Watch‌ lineup, but he did not explicitly mention Series 5 models. Reuters also reported that Japan Display would begin supplying OLED displays for the Apple Watch, but likewise did not specify Series 5 models. Looking farther ahead, rumors suggest that ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 models will adopt MicroLED displays in

Kuo: 2021 iPhone Will Feature Fingerprint-Sensing Display in Addition to Face ID

Apple will launch an iPhone equipped with both Face ID and an on-display fingerprint sensor in 2021, according to a new investor note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by MacRumors. Kuo's prediction is based on Apple's patents related to fingerprint on display (FOD) and the continued use of the technology in Android smartphones, which together suggest to him that Apple will opt to bring fingerprint scanning back to its smartphone screens. In terms of technology, we predict that four critical technical issues of FOD will significantly improve in 12–18 months, including module thickness, sensing area, power consumption, and lamination yield rate. Therefore, we believe that Apple will launch the new iPhone equipped with both Face ID and FOD to enhance security and convenience thanks to the multi-biometrics.Apple has effaced fingerprint recognition entirely in its flagship smartphone lineup, which includes the iPhone XS, ‌iPhone XS‌ Max, and LCD-based iPhone XR. Chinese mobile vendors meanwhile have gone in the opposite direction and extended the adoption of in-display fingerprint sensing technology from their premium smartphones to mid-range models, where they've proved just as popular. Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on 2017's iPhone X, but the company ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face ID. However, Kuo argues that Face ID and FOD technologies are "complementary, not competitive," because multi-biometrics would offer authentication processes in

Kuo: Apple Likely to Absorb Any US Tariff Cost Increases on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Apple's domestic pricing and shipment forecasts aren't likely to be impacted by U.S. tariffs thanks to "proper preparations" made by the tech giant, according to a new investor note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by MacRumors. Financial markets were rattled last week by President Donald Trump's surprise announcement of 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports, effective September 1, in retaliation for moves by the Chinese government. It's still unclear if Apple's products will come under the tariffs on toys, games, and consumer electronics, but if they do, Kuo believes Apple will absorb most of the additional costs in the mid-short term while increasing its non-Chinese production locations to avoid rising costs in the long run. In the mid-short term, if Apple absorbs most of the additional costs due to tariffs, there will be a negative impact on its profits from its hardware business, but the company will reap benefits in its brand image and relationships with suppliers. We also believe that the negative impact on Apple are limited and temporary because the profit from service business is growing, and non-Chinese production locations will gradually increase.Apple has been expanding production in India and Vietnam as part of a strategy to diversify product manufacturing beyond China. Kuo thinks Apple's non-Chinese production locations could meet most of the demand from the U.S. market after two years. Specifically he believes iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch manufacturing could meet demand as early as next year, but adequate Mac production

Two Upcoming 2020 iPhones to Feature Time-of-Flight 3D Sensing Rear Cameras

Two of the iPhones set to be released in 2020 will feature 3D sensing rear camera setups with time-of-flight (ToF) camera lenses, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who shared the info in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. A time-of-flight camera system measures the time that it takes for a laser or LED to bounce off of objects in a room, providing an accurate 3D map of the surroundings. All three of the new iPhones are also expected to feature a front-facing camera system with Face ID, which deviates a bit from some rumors that have suggested an under-display fingerprint sensor could be coming to some 2020 iPhone models.We predict that three new 2H20 iPhone models will all be equipped with front Face ID, and two of the new models will provide rear ToF. We estimate that shipments of iPhone models equipped with front and rear VCSEL (front structure light and rear ToF) will be 45mn units in 2020.We've previously heard multiple rumors suggesting a time-of-flight camera system for the 2020 iPhones, including info from Kuo himself, but this is the first time that he's specified that he expects the 3D sensing camera system to be available in just two of the three upcoming 2020 iPhones. Kuo goes on to say that a rear time-of-flight camera would bolster photo quality and offer new and improved AR applications. Apple and Huawei are believed to be the "most aggressive brand vendors" supporting 5G and ToF in 2020. The current 3D sensing capabilities used in the front-facing True Depth camera system rely on infrared cameras and a dot projector to