Kuo: iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max Have Accounted for Combined 55% of Pre-Orders

Yesterday, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max pre-orders have been better than expected so far, noting that demand for the higher-end iPhone 11 Pro models is particularly strong in the United States due to trade-in and financing options.


In a follow-up research note with TF International Securities today, seen by MacRumors, Kuo now specifies that the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max models have accounted for 55 percent of pre-orders to date. By extension, that would mean the lower-priced iPhone 11 has comprised 45 percent of pre-orders.

Kuo notes that shipment volumes of the higher-end OLED display models are "better than last year." A year ago, he estimated the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max would account for a combined 40-45 percent of 2018 iPhone lineup shipments.

While the iPhone 11 should be the best-selling iPhone of the 2019 lineup, Apple's push towards monthly installments like the iPhone Upgrade Program may be convincing more customers to opt for the higher-priced models, as the $999-plus price tags are less steep when they are spread out over two years.

Apple no longer shares iPhone pre-order figures, nor has it ever disclosed iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis, so it is unclear how Kuo's "survey" results are determined, but Apple's online shipping estimates are one factor.

In today's note, Kuo also reiterated that 2020 iPhones will feature 3D sensing time-of-flight rear cameras with 7P lenses.

Related Roundups: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro

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Kuo: iPhone 11 Order Demand Better Than Expected, New Colors Particularly Popular

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro order demand is ahead of expectations since the start of pre-orders on Friday, according to a research note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by MacRumors.


Basing his analysis in part on Apple's online shipping estimates, Kuo believes demand is "significantly stronger" for the iPhone 11 in the new green and purple colors and the iPhone 11 Pro in midnight green, but he notes that the latter model is facing production issues and is currently constrained.
The shipping times of midnight green iPhone 11 Pro, green iPhone 11, and purple iPhone 11 are all two–three weeks or longer. The shipping times of other colors are roughly shorter than ten days. It should be noted that the glass casings of midnight green models are currently facing production issues; therefore, it makes the shipping time longer.
Kuo sees demand for the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro being higher in the U.S., while the cheaper iPhone 11 series is doing particularly well in the Chinese market. As a result, TF Securities has increased its forecast of iPhone 11 shipments in 2019 to 70–75 million units (versus the previous 65–70 million units), and predicts the iPhone supply chain will grow steadily in the fourth quarter.

Kuo believes the iPhone 11 is an excellent upgrade choice for iPhone 6/6s/7 users, especially because of its lower price, which is roughly equivalent to 1–1.3 times the average monthly salary in China. Kuo says this is "close to the price sweet spot," given that the iPhone XR's price equivalence was 1.5–1.7 times the average monthly salary in China. In addition to Apple's aggressive pricing strategy, Kuo notes that the zero-interest installment plans for 24 months are also lowering the purchase barriers.

The successors to the iPhone XS and XS Max, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max unveiled last week feature triple-lens rear cameras for improved photo and video capabilities. The lower-cost iPhone 11 series, which succeeds the iPhone XR, includes a number of upgrades such as a dual-lens rear camera, six new colors, an A13 Bionic chip, and Dolby Atmos sound.

The iPhone 11 starts at $699, which is $50 less than the iPhone XR, while the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 and the Pro Max starts at $1,099. Apple's new devices officially start shipping this Friday, September 20.

Related Roundups: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro

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Kuo Shares 2019 iPhone Expectations: 18W USB-C Charger for Higher-End Models, Bilateral Wireless Charging Might Not Happen

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this afternoon sent out a note to investors recapping his expectations for Apple's 2019 iPhone lineup, which is set to be unveiled during tomorrow's September 10 event.

Much of what's included in the note, which was seen by MacRumors, covers predictions that we've previously heard many times, though Kuo offers up details on some rumors that were previously not confirmed, along with some new information on the potential bilateral wireless charging feature and the USB-C chargers we've heard about.


Here's a roundup of the information shared in the report:

  • New iPhones won't support Apple Pencil.

  • New iPhones will feature a Lightning connector, not a USB-C port.

  • 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED models will ship with an 18W adapter with a USB-C connector.

  • The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will continue to ship with a 5W power adapter with a USB-A connector.

  • The new iPhones may not support two-way wireless charging after all "because the charging efficiency may not meet Apple’s requirements."

  • Design and notch of new iPhones to be unchanged. New colors expected (likely referring to the new colors for the XR).

  • Triple-lens cameras for the 5.8 and 6.5-inch iPhones.

  • All three iPhones will offer ultra-wideband support for improved indoor navigation and object tracking purposes.

Ultra-wideband support is perhaps one of the most interesting changes that's gotten limited coverage. It's a short-range, low-power radio technology that offers more precise indoor positioning than Bluetooth LE and WiFi, which suggests that Apple's rumored Tile-like Apple Tags for keeping track of lost objects will be more accurate than products from competitors.

On the other details included in the note, we've heard reports of Apple's plans to introduce 18W chargers for fast charging out of the box, but previous rumors didn't indicate that the chargers would be limited to the iPhone XS and XS Max successors.

Bilateral wireless charging, which would allow the iPhone to charge devices like the AirPods and the Apple Watch, has long been rumored. In fact, a recent report from Bloomberg suggested Apple is moving the Apple logo on the new iPhones from the top to the middle of the devices specifically for this feature, so two-way wireless charging may still be in the works.

Kuo says that he expects shipments of the new iPhone models will decline by 5 to 10 percent year over year to 65 to 70 million units because of a "lack of innovative selling points." iPhone shipments in 2019 still might reach 180 million units, though, thanks to "demand boosted by price-cut legacy iPhone models."

We don't have long to wait to see what's in store for the 2019 iPhone lineup. Apple's iPhone event will kick off at 10:00 a.m Pacific Time. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the event both here on MacRumors.com and on the MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

Related Roundups: 2019 iPhones, iPhone 11

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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 Chinese-language research note with TF International Securities today, 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 will rely solely on UWB, which would seemingly limit their compatibility to 2019 and newer iPhones, or if they will also incorporate Bluetooth LE for use with older devices.

Last week, MacRumors revealed that Apple's tags will be closely integrated with the new "Find My" app in iOS 13, which merged the Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps into one package. Specifically, Apple has been working on an "Items" tab in the app for tracking the location of Apple-tagged items.


iPhone users will receive a notification when they are separated from a tagged item, according to an internal version of the "Find My" app obtained by MacRumors. If necessary, users can then tap a button in the app that will cause Apple's tag to chime to help them locate the lost item.

"Safe Locations" can be set where the user will not be notified if this item is left in those locations, and users will also be able to share the location of items with friends and family members, based on internal iOS 13 code.

If users are unable to find an item, they can place the attached tag into a "Lost Mode." Then, if another iPhone user comes across the lost item, the owner will be instantly notified. The stranger will also be presented with the owner's contact information, possibly via push notification or in the Find My app.

Like the Pixie Tracker, the Find My app will likely incorporate functionality from Apple's ARKit platform. An internal build of iOS 13 includes an asset for a 3D red balloon that could help a user pinpoint a lost item after scanning a room with their iPhone. There's also an image of a 2D orange balloon.


"Walk around several feet and move your iPhone up and down until a balloon comes into view," a string in the internal Find My app bundle reads.

Apple is hosting an event at Steve Jobs Theater next Tuesday, where it is widely expected to unveil new iPhone and Apple Watch models. It certainly seems like development of Apple's tags has reached an advanced stage, but it is unclear if the product will be introduced at the keynote or later.


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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 2020.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Kuo: 2021 iPhone Will Feature Fingerprint-Sensing Display in Addition to Face ID

Apple will launch an iPhone equipped with both Face ID and an on-display fingerprint sensor in 2021, according to a new investor note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by MacRumors.


Kuo's prediction is based on Apple's patents related to fingerprint on display (FOD) and the continued use of the technology in Android smartphones, which together suggest to him that Apple will opt to bring fingerprint scanning back to its smartphone screens.
In terms of technology, we predict that four critical technical issues of FOD will significantly improve in 12–18 months, including module thickness, sensing area, power consumption, and lamination yield rate. Therefore, we believe that Apple will launch the new iPhone equipped with both Face ID and FOD to enhance security and convenience thanks to the multi-biometrics.
Apple has effaced fingerprint recognition entirely in its flagship smartphone lineup, which includes the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and LCD-based iPhone XR. Chinese mobile vendors meanwhile have gone in the opposite direction and extended the adoption of in-display fingerprint sensing technology from their premium smartphones to mid-range models, where they've proved just as popular.

Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on 2017's iPhone X, but the company ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face ID. However, Kuo argues that Face ID and FOD technologies are "complementary, not competitive," because multi-biometrics would offer authentication processes in circumstances where one or the other was inconvenient to use or simply unavailable.

Kuo believes that GIS and Qualcomm will benefit from iPhone's adoption of FOD, with the former providing the "large-area sensing ultrasonic" technology and the latter supplying the ultrasonic FOD module and lamination. Kuo also argues that the likelihood of FOD in iPhones will increase if Apple Watch supports a biometric function in the future.

Last month, Chinese media sources claimed Apple intends to launch a new iPhone for the budget-conscious Chinese market that features an under-display fingerprint sensor. However, those reports said the fingerprint scanning would replace rather than augment Face ID technology, which was deemed too expensive.

Barclays analysts also recently claimed that 2020 model iPhones will have acoustic fingerprint technology that could allow for full-screen Touch ID, following meetings with suppliers in Apple's Asian supply chain.

Before these reports, the consensus was that Apple is done with Touch ID in smartphones, despite having explored various in-display fingerprint scanner solutions in the past, including fingerprint sensing MicroLED displays. However, Touch ID has found a new lease of life on laptop keyboards, specifically in Apple's MacBook Pro range and the MacBook Air.


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Kuo: Apple Likely to Absorb Any US Tariff Cost Increases on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Apple's domestic pricing and shipment forecasts aren't likely to be impacted by U.S. tariffs thanks to "proper preparations" made by the tech giant, according to a new investor note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by MacRumors.


Financial markets were rattled last week by President Donald Trump's surprise announcement of 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports, effective September 1, in retaliation for moves by the Chinese government.

It's still unclear if Apple's products will come under the tariffs on toys, games, and consumer electronics, but if they do, Kuo believes Apple will absorb most of the additional costs in the mid-short term while increasing its non-Chinese production locations to avoid rising costs in the long run.
In the mid-short term, if Apple absorbs most of the additional costs due to tariffs, there will be a negative impact on its profits from its hardware business, but the company will reap benefits in its brand image and relationships with suppliers. We also believe that the negative impact on Apple are limited and temporary because the profit from service business is growing, and non-Chinese production locations will gradually increase.
Apple has been expanding production in India and Vietnam as part of a strategy to diversify product manufacturing beyond China. Kuo thinks Apple's non-Chinese production locations could meet most of the demand from the U.S. market after two years. Specifically he believes iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch manufacturing could meet demand as early as next year, but adequate Mac production outside of China won't be achieved before 2021.

The predictions stand in contrast to recent comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook during his July earnings call, in which he was asked about Apple potentially moving out of China. Cook responded: "There's been a lot of speculation about this, [but] I wouldn't put much stock in it. Parts come from everywhere, including the U.S. We currently make the Mac Pro in the US and would like to continue that."

Earlier last month, Apple asked for a U.S. import tariff exemption on parts for the new Mac Pro, which President Trump said would be denied.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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Two Upcoming 2020 iPhones to Feature Time-of-Flight 3D Sensing Rear Cameras

Two of the iPhones set to be released in 2020 will feature 3D sensing rear camera setups with time-of-flight (ToF) camera lenses, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who shared the info in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors.

A time-of-flight camera system measures the time that it takes for a laser or LED to bounce off of objects in a room, providing an accurate 3D map of the surroundings.


All three of the new iPhones are also expected to feature a front-facing camera system with Face ID, which deviates a bit from some rumors that have suggested an under-display fingerprint sensor could be coming to some 2020 iPhone models.
We predict that three new 2H20 iPhone models will all be equipped with front Face ID, and two of the new models will provide rear ToF. We estimate that shipments of iPhone models equipped with front and rear VCSEL (front structure light and rear ToF) will be 45mn units in 2020.
We've previously heard multiple rumors suggesting a time-of-flight camera system for the 2020 iPhones, including info from Kuo himself, but this is the first time that he's specified that he expects the 3D sensing camera system to be available in just two of the three upcoming 2020 iPhones.

Kuo goes on to say that a rear time-of-flight camera would bolster photo quality and offer new and improved AR applications. Apple and Huawei are believed to be the "most aggressive brand vendors" supporting 5G and ToF in 2020.

The current 3D sensing capabilities used in the front-facing True Depth camera system rely on infrared cameras and a dot projector to create a 3D image, but ToF systems use lasers technology, calculating the time it takes for a laser to bounce off of surrounding objects to create a 3D image of what's around you. ToF offers up more accurate depth perception, resulting in better placement of virtual objects, and it should offer up improved images thanks to the more advanced depth information.

Previous rumors from Bloomberg have suggested that the rear camera in Apple's 2020 iPhones, which will use use VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) technology, will be able to scan objects up to 15 feet away, mapping out wide areas. Face ID currently works at about 25 to 50 centimeters away.

Kuo said in a prior investor's note that implementing ToF would require 5G connectivity because Apple would want to use the feature to create a "revolutionary AR experience." All 2020 iPhones are expected to feature 5G chips.

Rumors suggest Apple is planning to release three iPhones in 2020, but in new sizes. Apple is said to be working on 5.4 and 6.7-inch high-end iPhones with OLED displays, which would presumably be the devices to adopt the 3D-capable rear camera systems, and a lower-cost 6.1-inch model with an OLED display.

More information on what to expect in the 2020 iPhones can be found in the dedicated what's next section of our 2019 iPhone roundup.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones

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Kuo: All Three iPhones Coming in 2020 Will Support 5G

The three iPhones expected to launch in 2020 will feature support for 5G, according to a new note to investors shared today by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and obtained by MacRumors.

Kuo originally said that two of the three new iPhones coming in 2020 will support 5G, but now believes that Apple will offer 5G in all models to better compete with lower-cost Android smartphones that will support 5G. Kuo also says that following Apple's acquisition of Intel's smartphone modem chip business, Apple has more resources for developing the 5G iPhone.

We now believe that all three new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G for the following reasons. (1) Apple has more resource for developing the 5G iPhone after the acquisition of Intel baseband business. (2) We expect that the prices of 5G Android smartphones will decline to $249-349 USD in 2H20. We believe that 5G Android smartphones, which will be sold at $249-349 USD, will only support Sub-6GHz. But the key is that consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function in 2H20. Therefore, iPhone models which will be sold at higher prices have to support 5G for winning more subsidies from mobile operators and consumers' purchase intention. (3) Boosting 5G developments could benefit Apple's AR ecosystem.
Kuo says that he expects all three new iPhone models coming in 2020 to support both mmWave and Sub-6GHz spectrum to meet the requirements of the American market, but it is not clear if Apple will launch a 5G iPhone that only supports Sub-6GHz, which would allow for a lower price. He says Apple may not have enough development resources for such a project.
Apple may have the intention to launch the 5G iPhone, which only supports Sub-6GHz, to gain market share by lowering the cost/price for markets which only support Sub-6GHz (e.g., Chinese market). However, 5G iPhone, which only supports Sub-6GHz and the version which supports mmWave & Sub-6GHz are regarded as different projects even though they share the same form factor design.
For those unfamiliar with 5G networks, there are actually two different kinds of 5G. mmWave technology is the super fast 5G that's most often talked about, but not all 5G networks are going to use mmWave technology in all areas because it's best suited to denser urban areas.

In rural and suburban areas, 5G technology will be on mid-bands and low-bands, called sub-6GHz 5G. It's still faster than 4G, but not as fast as mmWave. When 5G finishes rolling out, there will be some areas with mmWave technology where data transfer speeds will be lightning quick, coupled with other more expansive areas that are closer to 4G LTE speeds.

Over time, low-band and mid-band 5G speeds should also get much quicker, but at launch, won't be as fast as mmWave, which is most often in the spotlight.

Apple is planning to use modem chips from Qualcomm in its 2020 5G iPhone lineup, despite its recent acquisition of Intel's smartphone modem chip business. Apple is working on its own modem chips, but that technology isn't going to be ready until 2021.

Along with 5G technology, the 2020 iPhones could be available in new sizes. In a previous note, Kuo said that Apple is going to release 5.4 and 6.7-inch high-end iPhones with OLED displays along with a 6.1-inch model with an OLED display. More information on what to expect in the 2020 iPhones can be found in the dedicated what's next section of our 2019 iPhone roundup.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones

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Apple Expected to Adopt Keyboard With Scissor Mechanism for Upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple is planning to use a scissor mechanism rather than a butterfly mechanism for its upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors.

Kuo continues to believe the 16-inch MacBook Pro will come in the fourth quarter of 2019, and now, he says Apple will use the more durable scissor mechanism that he previously said would not be used in the MacBook Pro lineup until 2020.

We have revised our prediction that the keyboard of the 16-inch MacBook Pro that will launch in 4Q19 will feature the scissor mechanism instead of the butterfly mechanism. The refresh versions of other MacBook models in 2020 will change to adopt the scissor mechanism keyboard, too. We estimate that shipments of MacBook models that choose scissor mechanism keyboards will reach 400k, 10mn, and 16mnunits, respectively.
Kuo believes that after the 16-inch MacBook Pro launches, future Macs coming in 2020 will also swap over to a scissor mechanism rather than a butterfly mechanism, resulting in more durable keyboards that are not as prone to failure from heat, dust and other small particulates.

A chart from Kuo listing a launch timeline for new Macs with the scissor keyboard. Click to enlarge.

In a previous note, Kuo said that the scissor mechanism that Apple will use will improve the typing experience by offering longer key travel and better durability by adopting a glass fiber for a reinforced structure. A keyboard with a scissor mechanism will be thicker than the butterfly keyboard, but Kuo believes that most users won't be able to tell the difference.

Kuo says that Apple's higher requirements for the scissor keyboard will result in an average selling price of $25 to $30 for the keyboard component, higher than the general ASP of $8 to $12 for this kind of keyboard. Apple supplier Sunrex is expected to provide scissor-based keyboards for the company.

Apple switched over to a thinner keyboard with a butterfly mechanism in the 2015 MacBook, and has since used the same butterfly keyboard in all of its notebook refreshes.

The butterfly keyboard has been prone to failure, despite several design revisions. Apple's newest Mac notebooks use an updated third-generation butterfly keyboard that is supposed to cut down on failure rates with a membrane and new build materials, but Apple has not been able to solve the butterfly keyboard problem entirely.

Negative public opinion, multiple lawsuits, and ongoing issues with all keyboards in Mac notebooks released since 2015 have led Apple to launch a keyboard repair program that applies to all Macs with a butterfly keyboard, including 2019 models.

Apple will repair all butterfly keyboards that experience issues at no cost for four years from the Mac's original date of purchase, but the problem won't be fixed until Apple swaps over to a new keyboard design that's more durable.

Though Apple already refreshed the MacBook Pro in May and July with updated processors, a Touch Bar for the entry-level machines, and other improvements, rumors about a second refresh in 2019 continue to persist. Apple is said to be working on the aforementioned 16-inch MacBook Pro, which could perhaps launch as soon as September or October.

Along with a scissor keyboard mechanism, rumors have suggested the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will have a 3027 x 1920 display with slimmer bezels than the current MacBook Pro models. Kuo's note suggests that the new machine will perhaps be sold alongside existing 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models going forward.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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