Kuo: ‘iPhone 12’ to Feature ‘High-End’ Camera Lens Supplied by Largan

Apple's upcoming "iPhone 12" will feature "high-end" lens arrays in the rear camera to improve image quality, according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a new research note seen by MacRumors, Kuo says Largan will supply the premium camera lenses to Apple for the phones from mid-July, although Apple has received the same components slightly earlier in the last couple of years.

Production has reportedly been delayed by four to six weeks in the second half of this year, which will see peak lens shipments fall between September and November, compared to August-October in the past.

Kuo doesn't mention the reason for the delay in his note, but the global health crisis is likely to have had an impact. Apple is still expected to announce the iPhones in September, but rumors have claimed that some iPhone models might not launch until October or November.

Kuo's latest note doesn't specify what kind of "high end" lens will be used in the ‌iPhone 12‌, but in a previous note he claimed that the 6.7-inch ‌iPhone‌ model will feature multiple rear camera improvements, including larger sensors that capture more light for better image quality.

Apple is expected to launch high-end 6.7 and 6.1-inch iPhones with triple-lens cameras, and lower-end 5.4 and 6.1-inch iPhones with dual-lens cameras. Previously, Kuo has said he expects the 6.1 and 5.4-inch iPhones to go into mass production in September, while mass production on the larger 6.7-inch ‌‌iPhone‌‌ will be delayed until October because of its more complicated design.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Kuo: Apple to Launch 10.8-Inch iPad Later This Year, 8.5-Inch iPad Mini in 2021

Apple plans to launch a new 10.8-inch iPad in the second half of 2020, followed by a new 8.5-inch iPad in the first half of 2021, oft-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors.


Kuo did not specify if the 10.8-inch iPad model will be a new version of the existing 10.2-inch iPad or the 10.5-inch iPad Air, but he has previously said that the 8.5-inch model will be a new iPad mini. Apple last refreshed the iPad mini in March 2019 with an A12 Bionic chip, an upgraded front camera, and support for the original Apple Pencil.

Kuo expects Apple to include a new 20W power adapter in the box with both iPad models, as seen in leaked photos earlier this week.

As for iPhones, Kuo expects the 20W power adapter to be made available as an optional accessory, meaning that iPhone 12 models would not include a charger in the box. EarPods aren't expected in the box either.
Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad Air

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Kuo: iPhone 12 Models Won’t Include Charger in Box, 20W Power Adapter to Launch as Optional Accessory

iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. This lines up with a prediction shared by analysts at Barclays earlier this week.


Kuo said that Apple will instead release a new 20W power adapter as an optional accessory for iPhones and end production of its existing 5W and 18W power adapters later this year. The form factor of the new 20W power adapter is said to be similar to the 18W version, with USB-C Power Delivery for fast charging, as seen in the leaked photo below.


Kuo believes that iPhone 12 production costs will significantly increase due to 5G support, but he expects Apple to sell the new models at a comparable price to its iPhone 11 lineup, and removing the EarPods and power adapter from the box is one way to reduce costs. Apple would likely also tout the environmental benefits of such a move.

Barclays still expects Apple to include a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box as the only accessory included with iPhone 12 models.

Kuo also expects that Apple will stop including a 5W power adapter with the second-generation iPhone SE later this year, but he said that a 12W power adapter will continue to be included with current generations of the 10.2-inch iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Kuo: 24-Inch iMac With New Design to Launch in Fourth Quarter of 2020

Apple plans to launch a 24-inch iMac with a new design in the fourth quarter of 2020, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors.


Earlier this week, Kuo claimed that this redesigned iMac will be one of Apple's first two Mac models with a custom Arm-based processor, with the other being a future 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Following years of rumors, Apple today confirmed its plans to switch to its own processors for its Macs, promising "incredible" performance and features. Apple said that it plans to release its first Mac with custom silicon by the end of 2020, and it expects to transition its entire Mac lineup away from Intel processors within around two years.

In the meantime, Kuo expects Apple to refresh its existing Intel-based iMac in the third quarter of 2020, which encompasses July through September. It is unclear if this model will feature a new design. Apple last redesigned the iMac in 2012.

A last-minute rumor suggested that Apple was going to unveil its redesigned iMac at WWDC, but the keynote did not include any hardware announcements.
Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)

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Kuo: AirPods 3 to Launch in First Half of 2021 With Similar Design as AirPods Pro

Apple plans to launch third-generation AirPods with a form factor design "similar to AirPods Pro" in the first half of 2021, according to the latest research note from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors.


Introduced in November 2019, the AirPods Pro feature an in-ear design with three sizes of soft, flexible silicone tips included in the box, along with shorter stems below the ear. AirPods Pro also have several upgraded features over regular AirPods, including active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and water and sweat resistance.

The current AirPods lineup includes second-generation AirPods with a wired charging case for $159, second-generation AirPods with a wireless charging case for $199, and AirPods Pro with a wireless charging case for $249.

Kuo also reiterated that iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods in the box, which he believes will help boost AirPods shipments into 2021. He also expects AirPods shipments to benefit from some kind of promotion program launching in the second half of 2020 — perhaps allowing customers to purchase AirPods at a discount alongside the iPhone 12?
Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

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First Arm-Based Macs to Be 13-Inch MacBook Pro and Redesigned iMac, Launches Coming in Late 2020 or Early 2021

Apple plans to introduce its Arm-based custom designed chips for Macs at WWDC, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors today, agreeing with an earlier report from Bloomberg.


Kuo says that the first Mac models to adopt Arm-based chips will be the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and an iMac with a redesigned form factor, with Apple planning to launch the new models in the in fourth quarter of 2020 or early in 2021 at the earliest.
(1) ARM13.3-inchMacBookPro:
The new model’s form factor design will be similar to that of the existing Intel 13.3-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌. Apple will discontinue the Intel 13.3-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ production after launching the ARM 13.3-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌.

(2) ARMiMac:
‌ARM‌ ‌iMac‌ will be equipped with the all-new form factor design and a 24- inch display. Apple will launch the refresh of existing Intel ‌iMac‌ in 3Q20 before launching the ‌ARM‌ ‌iMac‌.
Kuo says the Arm-based 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ design will be similar to the current 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, with Apple planning to discontinue the Intel version. As for the ‌iMac‌, it will feature an all-new form factor design and a 24-inch display.

Prior to the launch of the Arm-based ‌iMac‌, Apple will refresh the existing Intel ‌iMac‌ in the third quarter of 2020, which is in line with rumors we've been hearing about an ‌iMac‌ refresh that could happen as soon as WWDC. There have been multiple rumors about Apple's work on a redesigned ‌iMac‌, though most rumors have suggested the display will be 23 inches rather than 24 inches.

Starting in 2021, Kuo says that all new Mac models will be equipped with Apple processors, and that it will take 12 to 18 months for Apple to transition to an all-Arm lineup.

Kuo also says that an unspecified MacBook model with an "all-new form factor design" and an Arm-based chip will go into mass production in the second half of 2021, while a MacBook model with a mini-LED display will launch in the first half of 2021.

According to Kuo, Apple's custom designed chips, planned mini-LED displays, and scissor switch keyboard will "create competitive advantages for MacBook models in two years" with mini-LED technology significantly improving the user experience.
Related Roundups: iMac, MacBook Pro

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Kuo: iPhone 12 May Not Come With EarPods in the Box, Apple to Introduce AirPods Promotion in Second Half of 2020

Apple's upcoming "iPhone 12" may not come with EarPods included in the box, as a means of driving demand for the company's popular wireless AirPods which are sold separately, according to reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Apple has included earbuds with the iPhone ever since the first model of the smartphone launched in 2007, in large part because the ‌iPhone‌ was pitched as a natural extension of the iPod – a music player that also made phone calls.

However, in a TF International Securities research note issued to investors today and seen by MacRumors, Kuo said he expects Apple to leave out the traditional wired earphones that come with iPhones, which will usher in strong demand for ‌AirPods‌ shipments this year.

In addition to the need for new ‌iPhone‌ users to supply their own earphones, Kuo expects an uptick in ‌AirPods‌ shipments to be driven by an end to ‌AirPods‌ inventory depletion by the second half of the year, coupled with the likelihood that Apple will offer a special ‌AirPods‌ promotion in late 2020.


In terms of this year, Kuo said that ‌AirPods‌ shipments are likely to be at their lowest ebb in the second quarter due to the impact of the global health crisis, with total shipments declining by 29 percent from the previous quarter to 17.2 million.

However, ‌AirPods‌ shipments will benefit from increasing demand beginning in the third quarter, coupled with continuing strong demand for AirPods Pro throughout the year buoyed by Apple's expected promotional offer in the second half of 2020. Overall, Kuo predicts shipments to grow from his original estimate of 80-90 million pairs to 93.8 million pairs.

In a previous note to investors, Kuo said Apple is working on third-generation ‌AirPods‌ that will go into mass production during the first half of 2021, although this new model will only have internal changes and there won't be a change in external design.

This information goes against rumors of an ‌‌AirPods‌‌ update coming in 2020, and Kuo suggests no new ‌‌AirPods‌‌ are coming until 2021. By contrast, leaker Jon Prosser recently said that third-generation ‌‌AirPods‌‌ are ready to launch anytime.

Kuo acknowledges that the market is expecting a new ‌‌AirPods‌‌ model in the second half of 2020, but he thinks this is more likely to be a new set of Beats instead of a new set of ‌‌AirPods‌‌, meaning "‌‌AirPods Pro‌‌ Lite" rumors are actually referencing new headphones in the Beats lineup.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Kuo: Apple Glasses to Launch in 2022 at Earliest, New 10.8-Inch iPad and 9-Inch iPad Mini Coming in 2020/2021

Apple has long been rumored to be working on some kind of augmented reality headset, and in a new note to investors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that he expects the Apple Glasses to launch in 2022 at the earliest.


Taiwanese site DigiTimes also recently said that Apple's AR glasses could launch by 2022 as suppliers work to ramp up development, and The Information has also suggested a 2022 launch date. Rumors have indicated that Apple's first AR headset will look similar to Facebook's Oculus Quest, but with a sleeker design that uses fabrics and lightweight materials to make it comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

‌Apple Glasses‌ could feature a high-resolution display and are likely to be reliant on the iPhone for processing power to keep them slim and lightweight. The glasses are expected to run a new operating system, rOS (or reality OS), and Apple is exploring touch panels, voice activation, and head gestures as a means of control.

Kuo in the same note said that Apple is working on two new iPad models, which include a 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ and an 8.5 to 9-inch ‌iPad‌ mini. These new iPads are expected to launch in the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, respectively.
We predict that Apple will launch the new 10.8 inch ‌iPad‌ and 8.5–9 inch ‌iPad‌ mini models in 2H20 and 1H21, respectively. GIS will be the main touch panel supplier. The two new ‌iPad‌ models will follow iPhone SE’s product strategy, and selling points will be the affordable price tag and the adoption of fast chips. We believe that GIS will be the primary touch panel supplier for these two new affordable ‌iPad‌ models because the company is the largest medium-size touch supplier, thanks to the cost advantages of Megasite. We think that two new affordable ‌iPad‌ models will significantly contribute to GIS’s revenue because affordable models account for 60–70% of total ‌iPad‌ shipments.
Kuo said that he believes the two new ‌iPad‌ models will follow the ‌iPhone SE‌'s product strategy, which means affordable price points. At 10.8 and 8.5 to 9 inches, both iPads would be larger than the current models.

The existing low-cost ‌iPad‌ is 10.2 inches, while the current ‌iPad‌ mini is 7.9 inches. It's not clear if Apple plans to introduce larger-sized tablets or increase the available display size through bezel reduction.

Kuo previously said that Apple was working on an ‌iPad‌ mini with a mini-LED display that could be released as soon as late 2020, but it's not clear if the larger ‌iPad‌ mini mentioned in today's note is the same ‌iPad‌ mini that will get a mini-LED display.
Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, Apple Glasses, iPad

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Kuo: Apple’s Mini-LED Product Roadmap May Have Been Pushed Back to 2021

Apple's development of mini-LED display based hardware has not been significantly affected by the global health crisis but it may have delayed adoption of the technology in the short-term, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a research note with TF International Securities today, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said mini-LED chip, panel, assembly, and terminal assembly are expected to begin mass production in the third quarter of 2020, the fourth quarter, the end of the fourth quarter, and the first quarter of 2021, respectively.
"We believe that investors do not need to worry too much about the extension of the mini LED schedule, because mini LED is a key technology that Apple will promote in the next 5 years, so even if the short-term schedule is affected by the new coronary pneumonia, it will not damage the long-term positive trend."
Apple is said to be planning four to six products with mini-LED displays over the next two to three years, according to Kuo. The analyst previously said Apple planned to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with an A14X chip in the third quarter of 2020 and an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro with a mini-LED display in the fourth quarter.

However, today's note suggests Apple's roadmap for the mini-LED versions of these products may have been pushed back slightly. In March, DigiTimes said that Apple would launch multiple Mac notebook models with mini-LED backlit displays by the end of 2020, while Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said Apple plans to introduce a new 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ in October or November, but without specifying which display technology it would use.

Along with a mini-LED 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, Kuo believes Apple is planning to introduce a 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ with a mini-LED display, although he hasn't provided launch information for the 14.1-inch model that Apple is working on, beyond suggesting there are several mini-LED devices in the works.

Future mini-LED displays will use approximately 10,000 LEDs, with each one below 200 microns in size. 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.

In today's note, Kuo advised investors to pay attention to the trend of mini-LEDs and reiterated that they are positively looking at the growth momentum of Apple's mini-LED product roadmap.

The analyst estimates that Apple mini-LED product shipments will grow significantly by about 300 percent and 225 percent in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Apple's active mini-LED product strategy will also force competitors to launch similar products in the next few years, which is also the key to accelerating the growth of mini-LED applications, according to Kuo.
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Kuo: Mass Production on Third-Gen AirPods Starting in First Half of 2021, Design Unchanged But New Internals [Updated]

Apple is working on third-generation AirPods that will go into mass production during the first half of 2021, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors today.


The new ‌AirPods‌ will adopt the System-in-Package used for the AirPods Pro, replacing the rigid-flex PCB+SMT design of the second-generation ‌AirPods‌. Kuo says that these internal updates will be the biggest change to the third-generation ‌AirPods‌, suggesting the update will not include design changes and will continue to look like second-generation ‌AirPods‌.
The third-generation ‌AirPods‌ will go to mass production in the 1H21, and the most significant change of the internal design of this new model is the adoption of SiP to replace the rigid-flex PCB+SMT design of second-generation ‌AirPods‌. We believe that Apple will pull in this new model because of the declining demand for second-generation ‌AirPods‌. Luxshare ICT will be the main supplier for this new model.
Kuo's prediction is somewhat confusing because there have been rumors of an ‌AirPods‌ update coming in 2020, while he suggests no new ‌AirPods‌ are coming until 2021. Leaker Jon Prosser, for example recently said that third-generation ‌AirPods‌ are ready to launch anytime.

There have also been rumors that Apple is working on set of ‌AirPods Pro‌ without Active Noise Cancellation that will feature the ‌AirPods Pro‌ design at a lower price point, but Kuo does not mention these earbuds.

He does, however, say that the market is expecting a new ‌AirPods‌ model in the second half of 2020, but that this is more likely to be a new set of Beats instead of a new set of ‌AirPods‌, so it's possible all of the "‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite" rumors are referencing new headphones in the Beats lineup.

As for the ‌AirPods Pro‌, Kuo says that a new model will go into mass production in the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, which suggests no ‌AirPods Pro‌ refresh in 2020 or early 2021. We can expect Apple's high-end over-ear headphones in 2020, though, as Kuo says that these will enter mass production in mid-2020.

Update: ‌Ming-Chi Kuo‌ issued an update to his original report that indicated third-generation ‌AirPods‌ will go into production in the first half of 2021, not the first half of 2020 as first stated.
Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

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