The latest from KGI Research’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one analyst with quite a solid track record on Apple forecasts, predicts Apple will likely release an Apple Watch with new casing materials by the fourth quarter of this year. KGI expects Apple will introduce 1-3 new versions of Apple Watch featuring casing materials other than the aluminium, stainless steel, and 18k gold options its launching next month. From the report:
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Aside from current casing materials of aluminium, stainless steel and 18k gold, we believe 1-3 new versions of Apple Watch featuring new casing materials are likely to go into mass production in 4Q15.
There’s no word on what the alternative materials could be, but Apple could certainly look to introduce higher-end platinum or titanium models (or Liquid Metal perhaps?) as well as lower cost models using plastic of some sort. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal noted that Apple could be planning a platinum version of the Apple Watch. Apple’s cheapest, $349 entry-level Apple Watch launching next month will use aluminium for its casing.
Kuo predicts that Apple will sell around 5-6 million units in the first half of 2015 and around 15-20 million for the entire year. The report notes, however, that if the expected new casing materials arrive it could increase Apple Watch sales for 4Q15 and going into the first quarter of next year.
KGI’s report also shared predictions for sales of the new 12-inch MacBook that Apple unveiled this week.