Apple wearable reportedly only being previewed at iPhone event, shipping next year

via @EA_Roa

via @EA_Roa

Following Re/code’s report earlier this week that Apple will announce its wearable product (iWatch, iBand) alongside new iPhones on September 9th, Re/code now adds that the device won’t actually be available this year.

Sources in position to know tell me it won’t arrive at market for a few months. “It’s not shipping any time soon,” said one. So when does Apple plan to ship its eagerly anticipated wearable? That’s not clear, but my understanding is that we’re unlikely to see it at retail until after the holiday season — think early 2015.  Read more

iPhone 6 production disrupted as Apple abandons thinner backlight approach, reports Reuters

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Reuters is reporting that iPhone 6 production was disrupted for part of June and July after Apple was forced to abandon its plans to use a thinner display backlighting system in the new handset.

Suppliers to Apple are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month’s expected launch, supply chain sources said …

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Report claims next-gen iPad Air will double RAM amount to 2GB

iPad Air

A new report from Asian site TechNews.tw claims information from the Apply supply chain points to the next generation iPad Air doubling up on RAM from 1GB to 2GB. The additional memory would benefit system performance, especially during multitasking, when more memory-intesive tasks like browsing multiple websites in Safari and using other apps requires more RAM to function smoothly.

While most of the parts and component leaks out of the supply chain have centered around the next generation iPhone, which is expected to debut at an Apple event next month, the new report that the next generation iPad Air will double its memory follows a Bloomberg report earlier this month that new iPads with an anti-reflective coating over the display have entered production. Read more

KGI: 5.5-inch iPhone 6 likely to be delayed until after October, possibly until 2015

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided accurate Apple product information in the past (timing aside), has released a new research note predicting that supply constraints on key components may result in a serious delay in the release of the larger iPhone 6 model with a 5.5-inch display. According to the note, issues with the in-cell touch panel and coloring of the device could push the launch of the device back to a post-October date, possibly as late as next year:

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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s sapphire-covered ‘iWatch’ to enter mass production in November

One of many iWatch concepts.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided relatively accurate information on future Apple product plans in the past (but frequent misses on timing), has issued a new report today indicating that the Apple smart watch will enter mass-production in November. Kuo’s previous estimate on production for the “iWatch” indicated that the device would enter mass-production rounds in September. “We have pushed back our estimated time of iWatch mass production from late-September to mid-/ late- November. We also lower our forecast of iWatch 2014 shipments by 40% to 3mn units,” Kuo wrote in today’s report. The analyst claims the push back is due to more complex hardware and software engineering in this first generation Apple product category.

Kuo also provides some tidbits as to what he is expecting the device to feature:

  • Flexible AMOLED display
  • Sapphire coated display cover
  • Higher waterproof standards
  • New system-on-a-chip components

Both a flexible AMOLED display and sapphire crystal display covers have been rumored in previous reports about the Apple smart watch, waterproofing technology makes sense in light of this being a fitness device that straps to a wrist, and we first reported in January that the iWatch will sport a new system on a chip to pack in numerous sensors that could track health data such as steps taken, calories burned, hydration, and sweat. The device, which will also include advanced mapping functionality per multiple sources, will integrate deeply with the iOS 8 operating system and its HealthKit software. We expect the device to be announced at a keynote address in October and launch by the 2014 holiday season.

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Analyst: Apple plans to release cheaper iMacs, 8 GB iPhone 5s at WWDC [Update: "Nope"]

iphone-5s-deal-9to5toys

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a few more predictions about what we’ll see from Apple in the near future. According to a new KGI research note, Apple could potentially release cheaper versions of the iMac and iPhone 5s during its developer conference next week to accompany its software announcements.

Earlier today new references to an unreleased iteration of the the iMac appeared in an OS X developer preview, likely indicating the impending release of a new model. It’s quite possible that this could be the cheaper iMac referred to in the report. Despite the rumored upgrade, KGI has revised its iMac shipment estimates down, citing a slow PC market:

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Report claims iPad 5 & Retina iPad mini will sport 8MP rear cameras w/ larger aperture

iPad-camera

With Apple’s rumored next-generation iPads expected to be launching as early as this month, often reliable KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is sharing some new details on the expected iPad 5 and second generation iPad mini. Kuo is still expecting both products to launch later this year sometime in 4Q13, but in his latest report claims that Apple is prepping a camera upgrade for the new iPads that would include a bump up from the current 5 megapixel iSight camera to 8 megapixels along with other improvements:

Apple could upgrade the camera as a selling point for the new iPad in a bid to increase competitiveness.

We expect the upgrade will include 8MP rear camera, up from 5MP, and larger aperture. Lens module ASP will rise 10-20% on this optics spec upgrade.

As a reminder, the new iPhone 5s includes a new five-element lens designed by Apple that also includes a larger a F2.2 aperture with an 8 megapixel sensor. The device also brings a sensor with a 15 percent larger active area, auto stabilization, and bigger 1.5 micron pixels.

That would indeed be a nice camera to put on iPads. Read more

2014 iPhone will sport 4.5-5 inch screen, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-2-vs-Galaxy-S3-vs-iPhone-5-1

Image via GottaBeMobile

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo, Apple’s 2014 iPhone update is set to include a model with a larger display. Kuo pinpoints the screen increase to be between 4.5 and 5 inches. He also says that the display will continue to be based off of the in-cell touch screen technology. This display configuration, introduced with the iPhone 5, allows Apple to install thinner displays, and this means overall svelter phones.

Today’s claim is not surprising given that we have heard several indications that Apple is looking to boost the size of the iPhone’s display. Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Apple is exploring larger display sizes for the iPhone, particularly in the 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch “phablet” range. The aforementioned 4.7-inch Apple displays in testing would fit the claims of Kuo. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was testing displays up to 6-inches in size…

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Analyst predicts iPhone 5S with Gold option, larger F2.0 aperture camera and 128GB high-end

ifamily1

In a new report out today, KGI’s Mingchi Kuo updated his previous predictions for the iPhone 5S due for announcement on September 10th. Notably, he expects:

(1) the new A7, ARMv8 based AP (application processor), featuring a 1GB LPDDR3 RAM chip; (2) a sapphire home button with fingerprint  sensor; (3) main camera unchanged with 8MP, but featuring a larger F2.0 aperture with dual flash lights; (4) new option for golden casing; and (5) new option for 128GB storage.

We’ve heard the Sapphire fingerprint reading home button previously from Kuo and the A7 is the natural successor to the A6 and will likely be a 64-bit processor. The 1GB RAM seems in line with previous predictions but that 1GB of RAM will be faster according to Kuo:

We reckon A7 will upgrade memory bandwidth spec to LPDDR3 from LPDDR2 adapted by A6, in an effort to improve system performance. Since Apple is in charge of both hardware  and OS design, it is capable of minimalizing memory capacity at an optimized state. Therefore, A7’s RAM will likely be unchanged at 1GB.

However, the Gold option is something that has been only heard of in more sketchy rumors until now. Additionally, we discussed the 128GB option in our roundtable quite a bit yesterday. The iPad got a 128GB option this spring and the option on the iPhone would be a big differentiator for power users.

We’ve also heard the upgrade on the camera would include an F2.0 aperture with dual flashes but have heard a variety of megapixel options including 12 and 13. As with previous ‘S’ models, this one would be able to take dramatically better pictures, especially in low light situations.

Kuo doesn’t believe that there will be NFC capabilities in the iPhone 5S.

All told, Kuo expects Apple to sell 35M iPhone 5S units in 2013 (not including previous models and the lower cost iPhone 5C) as long as sapphire fingerprint reader manufacturers can keep up with demand.

Kuo’s record on parts predictions is good (timing notwithstanding) and these predictions should be taken seriously.

Mockups via MartinHajek.com, more here. Read more

iPhone 5S to have convex sapphire home button that doubles as a fingerprint reader?

Authentec-sapphire-iPhone-fingerprint

We’ve previously noted KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo for his often accurate reports on upcoming Apple products in the past. Usually those reports revolve around features that have been somewhat expected. We’ve expected a fingerprint scanner for quite some time and even found code that seems to point to a biometric input for the new iPhone. We’ve also profiled possible fingerprint readers in the iPhone 5S just last week.

Today’s report is something a bit out of left field however. Kuo expects the iPhone 5S to have a sapphire fingerprint reader home button that will no longer be plastic and concave but actually protrude slightly from the iPhone in a convex manner. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Sapphire home buttons but the first reputable source on the matter. Kuo

Convex home button creates space for fingerprint sensor; yield to improve. We think that a fingerprint sensor will be placed under the home button of iPhone 5S. However, assembling it could be difficult as the space under home button is limited as it already has to accommodate the Lightning connector, speaker and microphone. Thus, we think the shape of the home button could be changed from concave to convex to create more space for a fingerprint sensor.

Sapphire prevents home button from being scratched. A convex home button could be more easily scratched, so a harder material is required. We believe Apple will switch from plastic to sapphire, whose hardness is second only to diamond. Sapphire would protect the home button from being scratched and the fingerprint sensor from being damaged.

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