KGI ▪ August 19

AAPL: 115.01

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According to respected and generally reliable analyst Ming Chi-Kuo from KGI Securities, Apple’s long-awaited 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature Force Touch stylus support—perhaps for something like an enhanced Pencil from Paper’s FiftyThree. Earlier this month, we detailed what to expect from Force Touch on iOS including support for an enhanced stylus paired with the larger iPad models.

He expects the larger tablet to go in to production between September and October and that the stylus will be able to take advantage of the new iPad’s Force Touch-enabled screen. It’s being imagined as a feature which could help users more easily navigate the larger display of the iPad Pro. KGI has predicted an optional Lightning-charging stylus sold alongside the larger-screened iPad since earlier this year.

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KGI ▪ August 11

AAPL: 119.72

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iphone-sales

KGI – which has an excellent track record – has predicted a strong possibility of either zero or negative growth of iPhone sales in Q4 2015. The investment note cited by Taiwanese site Apple Daily (via GforGames) forecasts that Apple will sell between 65M and 75M iPhones, compared to 74.5M in the same quarter last year.

We predict iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S could be the first S-series models to see flat or lower shipments versus their predecessors.

KGI bases its pessimistic prediction on two factors. First, the weak state of the Chinese economy. Second, the very same argument I made in my opinion piece yesterday: that the headline feature of the iPhone 6S, Force Touch, doesn’t seem likely to wow customers …  expand full story

KGI ▪ July 19

WatchPlate Apple Watch rose gold gallery 9

A new report out from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo includes some interesting details about Apple’s planned fall product releases. Firstly, Kuo expects iPhone shipments to fall in the current quarter as anticipation builds for the new iPhone dubbed the ‘iPhone 6s’, although apparently ‘Force Touch yields are low’ which may constrict availability at the beginning. For Apple Watch, following a report earlier in the year to expect new materials for Apple Watch casings, Kuo claims Apple will launch new Apple Watch Sport color options to match the new iPhone.

This includes anodizing aluminum in either yellow gold or rose gold to match the gold options on the iPhone 6s and create a faux-Edition Sport model. Third-party coating services already exist for the Apple Watch (pictured above), but Apple’s additions would seemingly be for the aluminum, not steel models.  KGI believes Apple shipped a “tepid” 3.9 million Apple Watch units to date.

There is also news of a new iPad mini covered in KGI’s report, as well as sales estimates for all of Apple’s products ahead of the earnings calls on Tuesday.

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KGI ▪ May 20

taptic

A new KGI research note predicts that production of the Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine component will begin to improve later this month, but slow demand has led to a downward revision of estimated shipments by 20-30%. The new estimate comes in at 5-6 million units shipped in the third quarter.

Combining that estimate with the data from last quarter has caused KGI to cut its annual shipment estimate in half. Where the general consensus previously predicted that Apple should ship 20-30 million smartwatches, the firm’s new number comes in at under 15 million.

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KGI ▪ May 12

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

A special Top 11 list today from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on the next iPhone (6s? 7?) that will be released later this year. Counting down:

  1. Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enrich user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market
  2. Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model
  3. There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose-gold Apple Watch Edition
  4. The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12MP
  5. One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality
  6. The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted
  7. The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes
  8. If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens
  9. The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay
  10. Gesture control support
  11. It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.

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KGI ▪ April 26

KGI-AAPL-estimates

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the few analysts we feel credible, has his Apple numbers ready for Q1 2015. The analyst projects iPhone, iPad, and Mac shipments to be 58.2 million, 10.1 million, and 4.5 million respectively. He also estimates that Apple Watch shipments are currently at 631,000 units.

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