Kuo: All 5G iPhones on Track to Launch in Fall 2020, Including Both Sub-6GHz and mmWave Models

Last month, reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he expected four 5G-enabled iPhones to launch in the second half of 2020, including models with both sub-6GHz and mmWave support depending on the region.


Kuo said iPhone models with mmWave would be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom, adding that Apple may disable sub-6GHz functionality in countries that do not offer 5G service or have a shallow 5G penetration rate to reduce production costs.

Kuo has now doubled down on his prediction. In a follow-up research note today, viewed by MacRumors, he said Apple is still on track to release both sub-6GHz and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave iPhone models simultaneously in the second half of 2020, with shipments beginning in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter.

Last week, analyst Mehdi Hosseini had disagreed with Kuo's timeframe, claiming that sub-6GHz models would launch in September 2020 and mmWave models would follow in December 2020 or January 2021.

Kuo says development of 5G iPhones with both sub-6GHz and mmWave support is progressing as scheduled, however, and he has the more reputable track record as it relates to forecasting Apple's roadmap. So, as of now, it looks like the entire 5G iPhone lineup will be announced in September as usual.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Kuo: AirPods Pro, Apple Watch Series 6, and iPod Touch Getting New Suppliers in 2020

Apple will be making several changes to the suppliers of its products in 2020, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


For starters, Kuo expects Chinese company Goertek to begin assembly of AirPods Pro in the first half of the year. The addition of a second supplier alongside Luxshare Precision should help improve supply of the popular earphones, which continue to face multi-week shipping estimates on Apple.com.

Luxshare itself will replace Quanta Computer as the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of S-series chips for the new Apple Watch in 2020, aka Series 6 models if Apple sticks with its naming trend, Kuo added.

And last, Kuo expects Chinese manufacturer BYD Electronic to replace Quanta Computer the sole assembler of the iPod touch in 2020, as well as obtain at least 10-20 percent of non-cellular iPad orders. Naturally, if this goes well, the company is expected to receive an even larger percentage of orders in 2021 and beyond.

Kuo outlined these details in a research note with investment firm TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors.


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Kuo: High-End Smartphones in 2020 to Feature Longer Optical Zoom, Including 10x on Huawei’s P40 Pro

Optical zoom will be a key upgrade to high-end smartphones in 2020, according to the latest prediction from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said the rear camera on Huawei's upcoming P40 Pro will feature a redesigned periscope telephoto lens and become the world's first smartphone with 10x optical zoom. The device is expected to launch in the first half of 2020.


Huawei competitor Oppo had promised a smartphone with 10x optical zoom earlier this year, but it has so far only released a model with 10x hybrid zoom, which relies on a combination of optical zoom and software.

Kuo said enhanced optical zoom will extend to more high-end smartphones next year, although he did not specify if that will include the iPhone, which currently maxes out at 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. Optical zoom preserves the quality of a shot when zooming in, while digital zoom results in some blurriness.

In other camera news, a supply chain report from DigiTimes today claims that Apple's high-end 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhones in 2020 will adopt sensor-shift image stabilization technology, but details are slim. It is unclear if this would represent an improvement over optical image stabilization in current iPhones.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Kuo: Next Year’s 5G iPhones With Redesigned Metal Frame Won’t Have Major Price Increase

Apple is rumored to launch four 5G-enabled iPhones in fall 2020, and while 5G-related components could raise the production costs of the devices by $30 to $100 depending on the model, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will not significantly increase the price of 5G iPhones compared to this year's lineup.

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max models start at $999 and $1,099 respectively in the United States, while the iPhone 11 starts at $699.


In a research note with TF International Securities, viewed by MacRumors, Kuo said Apple instead aims to offset the cost of 5G by reducing its supply chain expenses, potentially including dropping its upfront non-recurring engineering payment to suppliers of the redesigned metal chassis and frame for 5G iPhones.

Non-recurring engineering refers to the one-time cost to research, design, develop, and test a new product or component. Kuo believes Apple will shift more of this research and development in house.

While the non-recurring engineering payment has typically helped Apple's suppliers stay afloat when iPhone sales start to slow during the spring and summer each year, Kuo believes it will be less essential in 2020 and beyond since Apple is expected to start releasing iPhones on a biannual basis going forward -- lower-end iPhones in the spring and higher-end iPhones in the fall.

Kuo has previously claimed that 5G iPhones will sport a redesigned metal frame with an iPhone 4-like design, suggesting a return to flatter edges. In today's note, he said both the chassis and frame on 5G iPhones will cost Apple significantly more to manufacture, perhaps pointing towards an even more premium design.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Kuo: 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Displays to Launch in Second Half of 2020

Apple is planning four to six products with mini-LED displays over the next two to three years, including a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with an A14X chip in the third quarter of 2020 and a refreshed 16-inch MacBook Pro in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a research note with TF International Securities today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said the mini-LED displays will "significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience" without elaborating.

LG Display and GIS will be the most significant benefactors of these mini-LED products starting next year, according to Kuo.

Kuo has previously said that Mini-LED displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks.

Kuo has also previously said that future iPad and MacBook displays will each use approximately 10,000 LEDs, compared to 576 in Apple's upcoming Pro Display XDR. Each LED would be below 200 microns in size.

Apple is widely rumored to refresh the iPad Pro in spring 2020, and if so, a new 12.9-inch model in fall 2020 would certainly be soon after.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, iPad Pro

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Kuo: iPad Pro With Rear 3D Sensing and ‘iPhone SE 2’ on Track to Launch in First Half of 2020

Apple plans to release new iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing in the first half of 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a research note with TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said the iPad Pro models will gain 3D sensing through the rear-facing camera system. Apple is expected to use a time-of-flight system, which measures the time that it takes for light to bounce off of objects in a room to generate a 3D map.

The timeframe lines up with a recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who also said Apple plans to release iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing as early as the first half of 2020. Gurman expects the iPad Pro models to feature dual rear cameras, up from a single lens, along with a new augmented reality sensor.

Kuo also reiterated that Apple plans to release a so-called "iPhone SE 2" in the first half of 2020 too. He has previously said the device will be released by the end of the first quarter with similar features as the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display and Touch ID, but with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM.

The low-cost iPhone will likely start around $399 with 64GB of storage, and come in Space Gray, Silver, and Red, according to Kuo.

Kuo has made both the iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone predictions in the past, so this really only serves as an update that the plans are still on track for early next year. Apple often holds a media event in March, and it is certainly possible the new iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone could be announced then.

It is worth noting that Kuo is likely just referring to the device as the "iPhone SE 2" as an easy way to refer to Apple working on a new low-cost iPhone. With its rumored 4.7-inch display, the device would certainly not resemble the original iPhone SE in terms of size, so it could end up having a different name.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone SE 2

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Kuo: Apple Watch Series 6 Models to Feature Faster Performance and Improved Water Resistance

While the Apple Watch Series 5 lineup was released less than two months ago, rumors are already looking ahead to next year.


In a research note with investor firm TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that 2020 Apple Watch models will feature faster performance, improved water resistance, and improved wireless transmission for potentially faster Wi-Fi and cellular speeds.

Kuo believes all of these advancements will be made possible by Apple's switch to liquid crystal polymer or LCP material for the flexible circuit boards in next year's Apple Watch models, expected to launch in the second half of the year as usual. Series 5 models and earlier use a material known as polyimide or PI.

Dongshan Precision, Avary Holding, and Flexium Interconnect will be the primary LCP suppliers, according to Kuo.

It would not be surprising if so-called Apple Watch Series 6 models feature a faster Apple-designed S chip, as the only known differences with the S5 chip in Series 5 models compared to the S4 chip in Series 4 models is a built-in compass and a new always-on display driver, so a performance bump will be due next year.

As for water resistance, Apple Watch Series 2 models are already suitable for swimming or showering and can be submerged to a depth of up to 50 meters. With further improvements, perhaps Series 6 models could be certified for some high-velocity water activities such as scuba diving or water skiing.

Previous reports have suggested that 2020 Apple Watch models may also feature sleep tracking and MicroLED displays.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Kuo: Apple Expected to Sell at Least 20 Million ‘iPhone SE 2’ Models in 2020

Apple is rumored to be working on an updated lower-cost "iPhone SE 2," which is set to be released in 2020. In a new research note to investors highlighting supplier expectations for the new device that was seen by MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared some sales predictions.

Kuo believes Apple will ship at least 20 million ‌iPhone SE 2‌ units in 2020, following the device's launch in the first half of the year. An optimistic situation, says Kuo, is 30 million units.

iPhone SE and iPhone 8

According to Kuo, the ‌iPhone SE 2‌ will use a 10-layer Substrate-like PCB (SLP) for its motherboard, which will benefit some iPhone suppliers like Pending Holdings, Xinxing, and AT&S despite the fact that it's expected to be a less expensive component than the SLP used in the iPhone 11 series.

In prior research notes, Kuo has shared quite a lot of detail on the "‌iPhone SE 2‌," which, despite the somewhat misleading name, is actually closer in design and specification to an ‌iPhone 8‌.

The device will feature a 4.7-inch display, a single-lens rear camera, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It will ship with the same A13 chip that's in the ‌iPhone 11‌ and 11 Pro, and it will have 3GB RAM.

The only thing that's "‌iPhone SE 2‌" about the upcoming iPhone is its price, which is expected to be $399. At that price point, it will replace the ‌iPhone 8‌, which Apple currently sells for $449.

Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone is expected to be a very popular upgrade option for iPhone users who are still holding on to an older model like an iPhone 6 or 6s and are looking for an affordable upgrade option that offers the same speeds and many of the same features as Apple's flagship devices.

It's also expected to be popular in countries where lower-cost devices sell well, such as India and China.

The new iPhone is expected to come out in the spring of 2020, which would see Apple launching it months ahead of when the new 2020 flagship iPhones come out in September.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2

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Kuo: ‘iPhone SE 2’ Entering Mass Production in January and Launching at the End of March

Apple's "iPhone SE 2" is scheduled to go into mass production in January 2020 and will launch at the end of March, according to the latest information from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


The timing basically tallies with Kuo's previous reports on the so-called "‌iPhone SE 2‌," in which he predicted a Q1 2020 release for the device, which is expected to start at $399.

Relying on historical patterns in Apple's product release schedule to predict future launches is not without risk, but March has traditionally been the launch month of Apple's more affordable iPhone.

The original iPhone SE was announced on March 21, 2016, pre-orders began on March 24 and the device was officially released on March 31, 2016. It was re-released almost a year later on March 24, 2017 with larger storage capacities. Apple has also held special launch events in the last week of March for the last two years.

Specs for the new low-end iPhone are said to include:
  • 4.7-inch display
  • A13 CPU (same as iPhone 11)
  • 3GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 64GB and 128GB options
  • Space Gray, Silver and Red colors
  • Home button
  • No 3D Touch
Kuo expects the device to look similar to the iPhone 8 and believes it will be a popular upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners, serving as a "key growth driver" for Apple in 2020. He believes these customers have low desire for new features like Face ID and multiple cameras, suggesting the "‌iPhone SE 2‌" will stick with Touch ID and a single-lens rear camera.

In terms of shipments, Kuo estimates that monthly shipments of the ‌iPhone SE 2‌ will be between 2 million and 4 million. Kuo also expects the ‌iPhone SE 2‌ will use a liquid crystal polymer LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) antenna design to facilitate transmission efficiency.

According to other industry sources, LG is in talks with Apple to supply LCD displays for the successor to the iPhone SE, with the panels currently undergoing last-minute quality checks.

Of course, "‌iPhone SE 2‌" might not be the final name of the device, with iPhone 8s and iPhone 9 speculated as other possibilities. With a larger 4.7-inch display, the device won't be as portable as the original iPhone SE, which will surely disappoint fans of that model.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2

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Kuo: iPhone SE 2 Launching in Q1 2020 with A13 at $399 Price

Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of 2020 and starting at a $399 price point, according to the latest research report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 8
Kuo goes into more detail about the expected specs of the so called "‌iPhone SE‌ 2" in the latest research note obtained by MacRumors. Specs for the new low-end iPhone are said to include:
  • A13 CPU (same as iPhone 11)
  • 3GB LPDDR4X
  • 64GB and 128GB options
  • Space Gray, Silver and Red colors
  • No 3D Touch
Kuo expects the new ‌iPhone SE‌ 2 will be a popular upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners.

Despite being referred to as a "‌iPhone SE‌ 2" by Kuo, the analyst expects the form factor of Apple's new budget iPhone to be similar to the iPhone 8.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE

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