Ming-Chi Kuo is a renowned Apple analyst, with over 10 years of experience reporting on Apple with data from the supply chain. Much of what we learn about upcoming products, delays, and potential price points are derived from Kuo's reports.
● Analyst at TF International
● KGI from 2013-2018
● Started career at Digitimes in 2010
● Well respected analyst with a good track record
● Reported many of the iPhone X details first
● Connections throughout the supply chain
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Ming-Chi Kuo has been a reliable source of solid data on Apple products over the years. Despite Tim Cook insisting that supply-chain-sourced data is a terrible way to make predictions, Kuo's track record is very high.
Kuo's strong points as a leaker are device-specific details and specs. These can sometimes include finer points like color, size, chipsets, and ports. Device names and release dates are often decided too late in production to be predicted accurately. His accuracy is historically strong, with some reports coming to fruition years after his predictions.
Ming-Chi Kuo not only uses obtained data to predict future Apple products but provides guidance for how well a product might sell. He arrives at these numbers based on volumes of component orders, then derives what they expect to sell based on previous supply chain inventory reports.
These reports can be accurate, but as Apple's supply chain is very diverse, knowing one product component order doesn't always provide the fullest picture.
Ming-Chi Kuo's Product Predictions
The following are current or recent predictions made by Ming-Chi Kuo about future Apple products.
Apple didn't remove the Lightning port in the iPhone 13 or iPhone 14 as early predictions suggested. Apple is now rumored to move to USB-C in the iPhone 15, which is due in 2023.
Kuo was among the first to predict that the iPhone 14 Pro would have a 48MP camera sensor. He has a strong record for hardware-related leaks.
The upcoming iPhone 15 had been rumored to feature an under-display Touch ID sensor, but Kuo has since pulled back on that prediction. It is also expected to use a periscope, or folding, lense for improved optical zoom.
"iPhone Fold" could launch in 2024 or later with an 8-inch QHD display. Kuo expects foldable iPhones to drive the next super cycle.
"Apple Glass" and VR
Before the Jon Prosser leak surrounding "Apple Glass" and its release, Kuo was reporting on the technology. There are two distinct devices. One is an AR or mixed-reality headset that supports both VR and AR. The other is a set of glasses, or "Apple Glass."
The details surrounding the device match with more recent rumors. Ming-Chi Kuo noted that the device will rely heavily on the iPhone, just like the Apple Watch did initially. These details have since been corroborated by other leaks, with only the release date still in question.
A report in May 2021 revealed that the Apple AR glasses wouldn't arrive until 2022, which was contested by Prosser, who expected them by the end of 2021. Kuo believes an AR device will launch in 2021 but did not specify if it was "Apple Glass" or a rumored headset.
Kuo later stated the VR headset would arrive in 2022 at a $1,000 price point. The "Apple Glass" would then later release sometime in 2025 and a contact lens device could come as soon as 2030.
The VR headset is expected to have 15 cameras for environment and object tracking. It will also feature a passthrough mode that lets wearers see the environment around them. Kuo stated in a December 2021 report that the headset will weigh less than a pound.
Released products in 2022
The Apple Watch Series 8 with temperature sensing, the Apple Watch Ultra with a rugged design, and an iPhone 14 Pro with a 48 MP camera were all predicted with highly accurate reports from Ming-Chi Kuo throughout the 2021-2022 rumor cycle.
Kuo continues to be one of the most accurate sources of pre-release information derived from Apple's supply chain. Only Mark Gurman from Bloomberg can claim to come close.
Ming-Chi Kuo's History
Ming-Chi Kuo has been a well-known Apple analyst for the past decade. His career first came into the spotlight while working at Digitimes, stating ship windows of unreleased iPhone 4 models. He went to work for Concord Securities in 2011, then KGI Securities in 2013.
There he spent the better part of a decade making a name for himself in the Apple rumors sector. When Mark Gurman didn't have insider information, Kuo usually did. Between the two of them, much of Apple's announcements were known well before being made public.
Kuo left KGI in 2018 to join with Chinese firm TF International. He still works there today and continues to provide highly accurate reports and analyses of Apple and its plans.
Timeline of Reports
The following is a timeline of every relevant report from Ming-Chi Kuo predicting a new product or feature. Most predictions pertain to whatever the next iPhone will be, but have expanded to encompass nearly every Apple product during his career.
Product names like “iPhone X” or “Pro Display XDR” were not known until very close to the announcement, so for simplicity’s sake, the correct product name will be referred to in quotes.
Ming-Chi Kuo became highly active on Twitter sharing various predictions and suggestions throughout 2022. Many reiterated previous predictions or seemed to be straight-up guesses.
Kuo's activity on social media versus his notes from TF International blurred in a way that made separating his actual leaks backed by data from guesswork more difficult.
For now, Kuo's timeline will only contain historical data from 2021 and earlier.
- "iPhone 14" to have 48MP camera sensor. "iPhone 15" to use periscoping camera system.
- More powerful "AirPods Pro 2" coming in late 2022
- Three new Apple Watch models including new Apple Watch SE and extreme sports models in 2022
- Apple AR headset to be under a pound, second model even lighter
- "iPhone 15" to have under-display Touch ID in 2023
- "iPhone SE 3" with 5G expected in 2022
- "iPhone Fold" coming in 2024
- Next MacBook Air to have multiple colors, mini-LED, same price in mid-2022
- mini-LED coming to MacBook Air in 2022
- "AirPods Pro 2" to debut in 2022
- Apple custom modem to appear in 2023 iPhone
- "iPad mini 6" expected to launch in late 2021
- iPhone Fold to launch in 2023 with 8-inch display
- Camera will be 48 MP in 2022 iPhone 14
- Face ID below the display by 2023 will remove the notch
- "iPhone 13 Pro Max" to have f1.5 aperture 7P wide angle lens
- Apple VR in 2022 at $1000, "Apple Glass" in 2025, contact lens in 2030
- "iPhone 13" not moving to USB-C or gaining Touch ID in power button
- Redesigned MacBook Pros with MagSafe and no Touch Bar expected
- "AirTags" and an AR device coming in 2021
- "iPhone 13" will use soft board battery technology
- The "iPhone SE Plus" will not come until the second half of 2021.
- "iPhone 13" will be same size as iPhone 12, improved camera system
- 120Hz not coming to "iPhone 12" and Touch ID in top button in more devices in 2021
- iPad Pro to be the first device with Mini LED display
- Quality control of camera lenses won't lead to "iPhone 12" shipment delay
- Cheaper battery technology will offset 5G component cost
- Apple preparing periscope lens supply for 2022 iPhone
- First Apple Silicon Macs will cost more
- ARM iMac and 13-inch MacBook Pro coming by the end of 2020
- iPad refresh will have 20W power adapters, not iPhone
- ”iPhone 12” may not come with headphones to push AirPod sales.
- ”Apple Glass” expected sometime in 2022.
- Mini LED products might not launch until 2021.
- Production of third-generation AirPods starting in the first half of 2021.
- ”iPhone SE Plus” pushed back into 2021.
- ”iPhone 12” September ship date endangered by engineering changes and closed testing labs.
- ”ARM Macs” to launch in 2021.
- ”iPhone 12 Pro Max” will have better camera elements, and 2022 iPhone may have a periscope lens.
- 2020 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro with scissor keyboards expected to launch in Q2 2020.
- ”14-inch MacBook Pro” and 2020 iMac Pro may have Mini LED displays.
- ”ARM Mac” coming in the first half of 2021.
- ”AirTags” tracking devices launching in summer 2020.
- 2021 iPhone will have a Touch ID power button and LCD.
- ”iPhone SE,” "AirTags," small AirPower-like mat, 2020 iPad Pro, “AirPods Studio,” 2020 MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro should ship in the first half of 2020.
- All four “iPhone 12” are on schedule to launch in fall 2020, and will include sub-6GHz and mmWave models.
- Four ”iPhone 12” models and an ”iPhone SE” to launch in 2020.
- Four 5G “iPhone 12” models expected in 2020, and an “iPhone SE Plus” coming in 2021.
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro with Mini LED displays to launch in the second half of 2020.
- iPad Pro with LiDAR and “iPhone SE” to launch in the first half of 2020.
- ”Apple Watch Series 6” to be faster with improved water resistance.
- MacBooks with scissor keyboard mechanism to launch in mid-2020.
- ”iPhone SE” to launch in Q1 with A13 and $399 price point.
- iPad Pro with LiDAR and new MacBooks with scissor switches to launch in the first half of 2020.
- "Apple Glass" to launch in Q2 2020.
- ”iPhone SE” will launch in early 2020 with iPhone 8 design, A13 chip, and 3GB RAM
- iPad Pro and MacBook to launch in late 2020 to 2021 with Mini LED.
- ”iPhone 12” to have a redesigned metal frame similar to iPhone 4.
- ”iPhone 11” event expectation: 18W USB-C charger for pro models and bilateral wireless charging might not happen.
- "AirTags" to use UWB, just like the "iPhone 11" line will.
- 2021 iPhone with in-screen Touch ID could be happening.
- The two high-end ”iPhone 12 Pro” models to feature Time of Flight sensors.
- ”iPhone 12” to reduce True Depth notch, full-screen display rumored for 2021.
- ”16-inch MacBook Pro” expected to use a scissor-switch keyboard.
- Apple may be moving to scissor switches for the next MacBook Air.
- All three "iPhone 12" models are expected to have 5G.
- Two new AirPods models are likely in 2019 to 2020, one with an all-new design.
- ”iPhone 12” to have 5G modems from Samsung and Qualcomm, with Apple producing their own by 2022.
- ”iPhone 11” to have 12MP front cameras, black coating to hide lenses.
- ”Pro Display XDR” in 2019, new iPad in 2020, and new MacBook in 2021 to have Mini LED.
- ”iPhone 11” to have a triple-lens camera with a super-wide lens, improved selfie camera.
- ”Apple Glass” to launch in 2020, will be tethered to the iPhone for use.
- AirPower and new AirPods to ship in the first half of 2019.
- ”iPad mini 5," ”10.2-inch iPad” and a new ceramic Apple Watch are expected in 2019.
- ”iPhone 11” to have bilateral charging, frosted glass, and larger batteries.
- ”Pro Display XDR” is expected to launch with something like Mini LED in 2019.
- ”16-inch MacBook Pro” expected in 2019, 13-inch to gain 32GB RAM.
- AirPods with wireless charging case is expected in early 2019, a new model in 2020.
- Apple’s “iPhone 11” to get better Face ID cameras.
- ”iPad mini 5” expected soon, AirPower to release in late 2018 or early 2019.
- ”iPhone 11” to have the same water resistance as ”iPhone XR.”
- ”iPhone 11” unlikely to feature a ToF sensor.
- iPad Pro with USB-C and a MacBook with Touch ID are expected to launch in 2018. ”Apple Watch Series 4” to have ceramic backs and ECG function.
- ”iPhone 11” won’t adopt fingerprint-on-display technology.
- "Apple Car" likely to launch in 2023 to 2025.
- Face ID iPad, MacBook and Mac mini updates, and 11-inch iPad Pro expected for 2018.
- 2018 iPhone lineup to feature new colors like orange, gold, blue, and red.
- First note from Kuo at TF International; says two OLED iPhone models at 5.8-inches and 6.5-inches, and a budget $700 6.1-inch LCD iPhone are expected for the 2018 iPhone lineup.
- Ming-Chi Kuo leaves KGI.
- Budget 6.1-inch iPhone could start at $550.
- ”Apple Watch Series 4” will have a bigger display and better battery life.
- Apple to release a budget iPad that supports the Apple Pencil.
- A cheaper MacBook Air is expected in Q2 2018.
- ”AirPods Studio” launching in late 2018 at earliest.
- A new 2018 ”iPhone SE” will be a minor upgrade if it happens.
- ”iPhone XR” detailed, may use LCD and cost between $700 and $800.
- Apple to discontinue the iPhone X rather than sell it at a lower price when second-gen launches.
- 2018 iPhones might have an L-shaped battery, more capacity.
- Upgraded AirPods with smaller components are expected in late 2018.
- 2018 iPhones to use upgraded Intel and Qualcomm modems for faster LTE.
- Apple to launch 6.5-inch “iPhone X Plus” and 6.1-inch budget LCD model in 2018.
- 2018 iPhones to retain dual-lens camera design.
- 2018 iPhones unlikely to have rear-facing True Depth system.
- 2018 iPad Pro models may have True Depth for Face ID.
- ”Apple Watch Series 3” unlikely to support direct phone calls, but VoIP a possibility.
- "Apple Watch Series 3" will have a similar form factor, LTE selling point.
- The "iPhone X" to come in only 3 colors.
- "iPhone X" will drop Touch ID, and have limited colors.
- Kuo WWDC hardware predictions; 10.5-inch iPad Pro and “Siri Speaker.”
- 2017 iPhones to have lightning connectors, feature USB-C to lightning fast-charging.
- ”iPhone X” will have a front camera with 3D sensing technology.
- ”iPhone X” will have a 5.8-inch screen, with virtual buttons.
- ”iPhone X” will have a 5.5-inch battery capacity in a 4.7-inch form factor.
- Apple exploring two-step touch id and face recognition for “iPhone X.”
- 15-inch MacBook Pro with Kaby Lake and 32GB RAM coming in 2017.
- 4.7-inch “iPhone 8” and "iPhone X" will feature a glass back and wireless charging.
- 5.8-inch OLED “iPhone X” is said to have a 5.1-inch to 5.2-inch active display area, remaining area for virtual buttons.
- 2017 iPhones may include a 4.7-inch single camera with LCD, a 5.5-inch with dual camera with LCD, and a 5.5-inch OLED model with dual cameras.
- The iPhone SE is unlikely to receive a refresh in early 2017.
- Apple said to be considering AR for “Apple Car.”
- MacBook Pro refresh expected in late 2017 with a price cut and 32GB of RAM.
- New MacBook Pro with MagSafe-like USB-C adapter might be revealed at the "Hello Again" event.
- 2017 iPhone to feature glass design, and a stainless steel frame on higher-end models.
- Dual rear cameras to remain exclusive to high-end iPhones in 2017.
- "iPhone 7" to have True Tone, better camera flash, and 32GB-256GB capacities.
- ”10.5-inch iPad Pro” expected in 2017, AMOLED iPad in 2018.
- “Apple Watch Series 2” with a faster chip, GPS, barometer, larger battery, and same thickness to launch in 2016.
- 2016 MacBook Pro may have an OLED touch bar display and Touch ID.
- Single ”iPhone 7 Plus” model with a dual-lens camera and 3GB RAM for additional image processing.
- iPhone with glass casing and OLED screen expected in 2017.
- ”Apple Watch Series 2” expected to focus on internal upgrades, no design changes in 2016.
- ”iPhone 7” dual camera said to be exclusive to the 5.5-inch model.
- 5.8-inch OLED “iPhone X” with curved glass casing and screen in 2017.
- 4-inch “iPhone SE” with 12MP camera to cost $400-$500.
- ”iPhone 7 Plus” to have dual-lens camera based on LinX tech.
- 4-inch iPhone and "iPad Air 3" to launch in the first half of 2016.
- ”iPad Air 3” not to have 3D Touch, and is expected in the first half of 2016. The “iPhone 7” will have similar 3D Touch tech to the iPhone 6s.
- 4-inch iPhone expected to launch in early 2016, support Apple Pay and have a colorful casing.
- The iPhone is unlikely to adopt OLED until 2019 at the earliest.
- 4-inch iPhone with A9 expected in early 2016, ”iPhone 7 Plus” to have 3GB of RAM.
- ”iPhone 7” to be between 6.0mm and 6.5mm thin.
- ”iPhone 6S” to have Force Touch, rose gold color, and better cameras.
- New iMac to have a much better display.
- iMac with improved processors and display to launch in Q3.
- Apple Watch refresh expected with “sport models” in yellow and rose gold, a new iMac and iPad mini expected in 2015.
- Next iPhone to use 7000 series aluminum.
- Next iPhone to have 12MP camera, 2GB RAM, and rose gold color option.
- 4-inch iPhone unlikely until 2016.
- Force touch tech might track contact area, not pressure.
- Apple Watch may gain new case materials later in 2015.
- Next iPhones expected to have upgraded Touch ID.
- A 12-inch MacBook is launching in 2015.
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro could have optional “Stylus.”
- "ARM Mac" may ship by 2016.
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro production expected to start in Q2 2015.
- 27-inch retina iMac due by end of 2014.
- ”iPad Air 2” update with gold option and a laminated display is expected.
- 4.7-inch “iPhone 6” and 5.5-inch “iPhone 6 Plus” may lack sapphire display cover, gain 128GB option.
- "Apple Watch" expected in 2015 with two sizes, 8GB storage, and multiple materials.
- No redesigned lightning cable or adapter with coming with “iPhone 6.”
- "Apple Watch" to come in two sizes with fashionable appearance, top end to cost in the thousands.
- iPad Air and iPad mini to get Touch ID in 2014.
- ”iPhone 6” could see the sleep/wake button move, 401 PPI, sapphire display in the high-end model.
- 12-inch MacBook Air and iMac are due in 2014.
Ming-Chi Kuo continues to provide reports from his current place of work, TF International.