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'iPhone 13' will impress with new features, 5G iPhone SE coming in early 2022 says Kuo

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Last updated

Beyond an impressive "iPhone 13" in late 2021, Apple will release a new 5G iPhone SE in the first half of 2022, followed by a slate of flagship "iPhone 14" models with under-display Touch ID and lower prices, predicts analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Kuo writes that he has a favorable view of Apple's iPhone strategy in 2021 and 2022.

The analyst says that new iPhone models in 2021, the so-called "iPhone 13," could be bolstered by specification upgrades, as well as market share gain because of the U.S. ban on Huawei. He didn't mention specific new features for the lineup, however.

In 2022, however, Kuo forecasts that Apple will release a new addition to the iPhone SE lineup in the first half of the year. The device will sport the same form factor as the current iPhone SE, but will add 5G support and an upgraded A-series chip. He also expects the device to be the "cheapest 5G iPhone model ever."

Additionally, the analyst forecast that Apple will release two high-end and two lower-end iPhone models in the latter half of 2022. Both standard sized models will pack 6.1-inch displays, while both "Max" devices will have 6.7-inch displays. Kuo didn't mention any smaller-sized iPhones, which could suggest an end to Apple's 5.4-inch iPhone mini series.

Those devices could benefit from growth drivers like under-display fingerprint readers using proprietary Apple technology and a wide camera upgrade to 48 megapixels. Kuo also believes that Apple could drop the price for at least one larger iPhone model to somewhere in the sub-$900 range.

From 2021 to 2023, the analyst believes that the iPhone will have the best growth visibility among smartphone brands, largely because of Apple's ecosystem advantage and upcoming product strategies that could drive replacement demand.

On the supplier front, Kuo also says that Luxshare ICT will begin to assemble and ship iPhone units starting in 2021. He expects the supplier's iPhone-related business to grow significantly between 2021 and 2023.

Kuo expects iPhone shipments to reach 230 million to 240 million units in 2021 and 250 million to 260 million units in 2022.

Most of the timeline predictions are reiterations of his previous remarks. Not included in Wednesday's research note, the analyst also forecast that Apple would release an 8-inch foldable iPhone with a flexible OLED display sometime in 2023.

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