TF International Securities


'TF International Securities' Articles

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 on 2020 iPhones: 5.4-Inch and 6.7-Inch Models With 5G, 6.1-Inch Model With LTE, All With OLED Displays

Apple plans to release three new iPhones in the second half of 2020, including high-end 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models with OLED displays and a lower-end 6.1-inch model with an OLED display, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Those display sizes line up with a DigiTimes report from a few months ago. In a research note obtained by MacRumors today, Kuo said the 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models will support 5G, while the 6.1-inch model will support up to LTE. Qualcomm is still expected to be Apple's primary supplier of 5G modems, with RF power amplifiers supplied by Broadcom as part of an agreement with Apple. Excerpts from Kuo's research for TF International Securities:We expect that the new 2H20 iPhone lines will include the high-end 6.7-inch and 5.4-inch OLED iPhone models and the low-end 6.1-inch OLED iPhone. The 6.7-inch and 5.4-inch OLED iPhone models will likely support 5G. We expect that the PA usage of each 5G iPhone will be 200% more than the current number for iPhone models. Sole suppliers, including Broadcom (designer) and Win-semi (manufacturer), are the significant winners in this case. […] We believe that the content of Apple and Qualcomm's previous settlement includes Qualcomm's release of partly 5G baseband chip source code to Apple for Apple's development of own 5G PA/FEM. Kuo believes that all new iPhones will support 5G starting in 2021. He also believes that Apple will have its own 5G modem ready by 2022 to 2023, which should reduce its dependance on Qualcomm. The new 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch sizes suggest that Apple may be planning to shrink the

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: 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

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

Kuo: iPhone XR Pre-Order Demand Over First Weekend Exceeded That of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone XR pre-order demand in the first three days of the device's availability was "better than that" of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus during the same period last year, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that although pre-order demand immediately after launch has been lower for the iPhone XR versus the flagship iPhone XS models, overall iPhone XR shipment momentum is "more stable" because it will drive more customers to upgrade than the iPhone 8 series over time. Kuo added that iPhone XR shipping estimates on Apple.com (many models remain available for launch day delivery on Friday) do not indicate exact demand, as the type of customers interested in the device are more general users, with many ordering through carriers to take advantage of promotions. An excerpt from Kuo's research note with TF International Securities:We are not surprised that XR's initial delivery times are shorter than those of the iPhone XS series after pre-order open given that XS and XR have different target customers. The former's target customers are Apple fans, who snap up new models rapidly after the pre-order open. The latter's are general users who are used to operating iOS with characteristics including favoring the Apple brand, limited budget, or no urgent replacement demand.Some other analysts had expressed concerns that the iPhone XR's strong availability implied weak sales of the $749 handset. Kuo already predicted that iPhone XR demand would be higher than that for the iPhone 8 series last year in a research note

Kuo: Apple Has Opportunity With iPhone XR in China as Chinese Rivals Face 'Lower Than Expected' Demand

In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said cumulative smartphone shipments from four major brands on the Chinese market, including Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, declined 10 percent on a year-over-year basis during China's Golden Week, a national holiday and major sales period. iPhone XR in (PRODUCT)RED Kuo, writing on behalf of research firm TF International Securities, said the estimated 6.5-7 million shipments during Golden Week were "lower than expected." He called Huawei the "major winner" as the only brand with a year-over-year increase in shipments during the October 1-7 holiday. The well-known analyst attributed the year-over-year decline to a lack of innovative selling points among Chinese-brand smartphones. Kuo is positive on the trends of triple-lens cameras and fingerprint sensors under the display in smartphones, but said only limited models currently support both functions. Kuo also cautioned that the US-China trade war "may be affecting consumer confidence, which makes the replacement cycle longer." A third reason is that some consumers—particularly existing iPhone owners—will opt for more affordable legacy iPhone models or wait for the iPhone XR, according to Kuo, who expects replacement demands for the iPhone XR in China will be better than last year's demand for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Extrapolating from Golden Week, Kuo said smartphone shipments in China in 2018 as a whole may be "lower than expected." He estimates shipments may decline 10-15 percent to 410 million units on a year-over-year

Kuo: iPhone XS Max Significantly Outselling iPhone XS, 256GB Most Popular, 512GB Subject to Serious Shortage

In a research note obtained by MacRumors today, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has provided launch-weekend takeaways for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4, all of which went on sale Friday. Kuo says that iPhone XS Max demand is "better than expected," with the 6.5-inch model outselling the iPhone XS by three to four times. He says the 256GB storage option is most popular, with the 512GB configuration subject to a "serious shortage" due to Samsung being the only reliable supplier.We have determined that the demand for XS Max is better than expected (3–4 times that of XS). The gold and space-grey colors are significantly more popular than the silver. 256GB is the most popular, and 512GB is subject to a serious shortage because only Samsung can currently ship NAND Flash well. We are positive that XS Max shipments will grow steadily in 4Q18 thanks to demand from Asia market and the gift season.The well-known analyst believes Apple Watch Series 4 demand is "much better than expected," with supplies likely to remain tight until Compal begins mass production starting from November, as a secondary supplier alongside Quanta.Apple Watch Series 4 demand is much better than expected. The capacity of the assembler Quanta is full already; therefore, the supply cannot improve significantly until second supplier Compal's mass production for Apple Watch Series 4 starting from November. We have increased the Apple Watch shipment forecast in 2018 from 18mn to 18.5–19.5mn units.Kuo believes the iPhone XR will be a hot seller, with more customers upgrading to that model

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 4 Pre-Orders Above Expectations, iPhone XS Seeing Lackluster Demand

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, outlining his opinions about first-weekend pre-orders for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4. Kuo says Apple Watch Series 4 pre-orders have been "better than expected," as a result of new innovative functions, such as electrocardiogram support. He predicts Apple Watch shipments will reach 18 million units in 2018, with the Series 4 lineup accounting for 50 to 55 percent of those orders. If the ECG support expands to more countries, Kuo believes the Series 4 lineup could see even stronger shipment momentum. In contrast, Kuo says iPhone XS pre-orders are "lower-than-expected," as customers opt for the iPhone XS Max or wait for the iPhone XR. Kuo has lowered his forecast for iPhone XS orders, believing the model will account for only 10 to 15 percent of shipments of the new 2018 iPhones, down from 15 to 20 percent. Kuo says iPhone XS Max pre-orders have been in line with expectations, signifying the success of Apple's high-pricing strategy:There is strong Chinese demand thanks to the gold casing, dual-SIM, and large display. The XS Max average shipping time is shorter than the 2H17 iPhone X (1–2 weeks vs. 2–3 weeks), which we think is due to supply improvements. We maintain our forecasts that the XS Max will account for 25–30% of 2H18 new iPhone model shipments.Kuo sees a positive outlook for the iPhone XR, available to pre-order October 19, given its lower pricing and dual-SIM support in China. The well-known analyst increased his forecast for iPhone XR

Kuo: USB-C on 2018 iPad Pro, Touch ID on 2018 MacBook, EKG and Ceramic Backs on All Apple Watch Series 4 Models, More

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note today, obtained by MacRumors, that outlines several predictions about Apple's upcoming products, including new iPhone, iPad Pro, Apple Watch, and MacBook models. Kuo expects Apple to replace Lightning with a USB-C interface on 2018 iPad Pro models, with an 18W power adapter in the box. That sure sounds like the next iPad Pro will have a USB-C port, instead of a Lightning connector, but to play devil's advocate, there's a chance he is just referring to a USB-C charger.In addition to Face ID support, we expect the new iPad Pro models' main upgrade to include replacing Lightning with a USB-C interface and bundling with a new unibody design 18W power adapter, which cancels the removable plug design…Kuo adds that 2018 iPhone models will retain the Lightning connector and remain bundled with a 5W power adapter, not the widely rumored 18W power adapter with a USB-C port, which could be for 2018 iPad Pro models after all. His research note with TF International Securities adds that Apple's widely anticipated lower-priced MacBook may replace the current 12-inch MacBook. Again, the wording is somewhat ambiguous, so it's unclear if Kuo means the 12-inch MacBook will be refreshed, or if it will be entirely replaced. Kuo expects the new lower-priced MacBook to support Touch ID fingerprint authentication, but without a full-out Touch Bar, which remains exclusive to select 13- and 15-inch models of the 2016 and later MacBook Pro:The new low-price MacBook may replace the position of the current 12" MacBook. We expect

Samsung Expected to Match 2018 iPhone Sizes With Galaxy S10 Lineup

Apple is widely rumored to introduce a trio of new iPhones in September, including a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.46-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch model with only some iPhone X features. Galaxy S9 Perhaps inspired by those plans, respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Samsung will follow suit with its Galaxy S10 lineup next year, including 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.4-inch models. Kuo outlined his predictions in his latest research note with TF International Securities, seen by Business Insider. Kuo notes that the 6.1-inch and 6.4-inch models will be equipped with an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner built into the display, a feature that Apple decided against on the iPhone X. The technology will also be built into the Galaxy Note 10 later in 2019, according to his research note. Kuo's prediction will surely reignite a long-standing debate about Samsung copying Apple, just weeks after the two companies settled a seven-year-long lawsuit in which Samsung was found guilty of copying the iPhone's design. Korean website The Bell previously reported that one of the Galaxy S10 models will be a lower-cost option, in line with the rumored 6.1-inch iPhone, which is expected to have some iPhone X features like Face ID, and an edge-to-edge display with a notch, but lack others, like an OLED display. The lower-cost Galaxy S10 will also have tradeoffs, such as a fingerprint scanner built into the edge of the device, according to Kuo. The Bell also said the Galaxy S10+ will feature five camera lenses: three on the back, and two on

Ming-Chi Kuo Says 2018 iPhone Lineup Will Have New Colors, Including Gold, Red, Blue, and Orange

Apple is widely rumored to release a trio of new iPhones in 2018, including a second-generation iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and an all-new 6.1-inch model with some iPhone X features, but not all, at a lower price point of around $600 to $700 in the United States. While the current iPhone X is limited to Space Gray and Silver, well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes at least two of the new iPhone models in the 2018 lineup will be available in additional colors. In a research note with TF Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said the second-generation iPhone X will be available in Black, White, and Gold, while the 6.1-inch model is said to come in a wide array of colors, including red, blue, orange, gray, and white. An excerpt from the note follows.We expect the demands for the new 6.5" OLED iPhone will be better than iPhone X because of similar or lower price but with larger display, dual-sim dual-standby (DSDS), and three possible casing colors (black, white, and gold). The new 6.1" LCD iPhone is expected to boost better-replacement demands than iPhone 8/8s did due to being equipped with full-screen, Face ID, selling price lower than $700 USD, DSDS and five possible casing colors (grey, white, blue, red, and orange).The current iPhone X was already expected to come in gold, but Kuo previously said Apple faced manufacturing challenges with the color, likely related to difficulties anodizing the stainless steel frame to be gold. We know that Apple did at least prototype a gold iPhone X, as seen in regulatory photos

Kuo Details 2018, 2019 iPhones, Expects Cheaper MacBook Air, Face ID iPads, and Larger-Screen Apple Watches Later This Year

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who now works at research firm TF International Securities, has issued a new research note today with a wealth of information about Apple's upcoming products and the company's overall outlook. Highlights from the research note, obtained by MacRumors:Kuo believes 2019 iPhones will have "marked innovations," but notes it could take until September or October of this year at the earliest until the exact designs and features become clearer. Nevertheless, among new iPhones introduced in 2019, Kuo expects shipments of LCD-based models to outpace models with OLED displays. He also notes that, if any 2019 iPhones have triple-lens rear cameras, it would unsurprisingly benefit camera-related companies in Apple's supply chain. In the second half of 2018, Kuo still expects the releases of new iPad models equipped with Face ID, a new lower-price MacBook Air, and new Apple Watch models equipped with larger displays. Kuo also still expects three new iPhones in 2018: a second-generation iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch version that will essentially be a budget iPhone X. Kuo expects the 6.1-inch iPhone to be available in stores in September of this year, despite entering mass production later than the second-generation iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus. This means all three new iPhones in 2018 will be both announced and released in September. Kuo believes the 6.1-inch iPhone will incentivize customers with older iPhones to upgrade due to it being equipped with similar features as the iPhone X and at a more