One of the biggest sources of supply chain-based pre-release Apple hardware information has departed his position of nearly six and a half years. Ming-Chi Kuo, top Apple analyst at KGI Securities, left the company last Friday, April 27th, according to a report by the China Times via Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
KGI is Taiwan’s second-largest securities firm, and is set to mark its 30th year in business later this September. Kuo, who is easily the firm’s most recognizable analyst by name, previously worked at Taiwanese news company Digitimes. Now he appears to be largely moving on from reporting about Apple.
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Although Kuo keeps a relatively low personal profile online, his reports have often been the centerpiece of the news cycle for Apple’s biggest and most-anticipated upcoming products. Because of sources deep within the supply chain, Kuo’s reports could often paint an accurate picture of what to expect from the Cupertino-based company’s highly-anticipated product unveilings.
Most recently, Kuo dished the goods on an upcoming 6.1-inch LCD-based iPhone, noting that Apple will be using a stronger display glass which will be more impact resistant and lighter. A previous reported noted that a dual-SIM option may also be in the cards. He has also predicted that the Apple Watch will get a chassis redesign in the fall, with 15% larger display.
While Kuo hasn’t always been right, he is by far the most accurate predicator of what’s to come with regard to Apple hardware releases. For example, he dished the goods on the iPhone’s depth-sensing front-facing camera — now known as the TrueDepth Camera in the iPhone X. One of his best scoops was a detailed rundown of Apple Watch specs, design and availability ahead of the official keynote, all turned out to be accurate. He also reported about the iPhone 7’s dual camera setup, 3D Touch along with upgraded Touch ID on the iPhone 6s, and the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display, among many other things.
Because Kuo’s sources were obviously supply chain-based, his reports couldn’t always tell the entire story as far as software and marketing were concerned. As a result, we often knew tidbits about upcoming hardware without being exactly sure how such hardware enhancements would be marketed or used in practice. Even still, the supply chain leaks painted a much clearer picture of Apple’s upcoming hardware roadmap than we would have had without them. Needless to say Kuo’s regular reports were a welcome sight to anyone interested in what’s next for Apple, but the analyst has undoubtedly been a thorn in Apple’s side for many years now.
Why has Ming-Chi Kuo, arguably one of the most popular technology analysts in the world, decided to move on? One possible reason is that his sources have done likewise, or perhaps have even been removed in light of Apple’s recent memo and strong stance against leaks — supply chain or otherwise.
The China Times report paints a picture of Kuo wanting to pursue opportunities elsewhere, particularly with emerging industries, and it goes on to note that his new position would likely no longer focus on Apple. We’ve reached out to Kuo for comment, and will update this report with more information when available.