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Ming-Chi Kuo

Ming-Chi Kuo

Last updated: 2 weeks ago

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


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 strong point is device-specific details and specs, like color, size, chipsets, and ports. Device names and release dates are often not decided too late in production to be predicted accurately. The accuracy of this analyst is historically strong, with accurate reports even years in advance.

Financial Guidance

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 details about products provided by Kuo through his various reports received over time.

"iPhone 13"

Mockup of an Mockup of an "iPhone 13"

The "iPhone 13" is rumored to have improved ultra wide cameras at f1.8 and 6P vs the current cameras at f2.4 5P. These improvements would greatly increase low-light photography with this lense.

With the iPhone 12iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max shipping, Kuo comments that 5G is not quite ready yet with it being more important in the 2021 lineup.

The "iPhone 13" is expected to use soft board battery technology which was previously used to improve the antennas in the iPhone. The technology will save internal space and reduce cost.

"Apple Glass"

“Apple Glass” concept by iSpazio Ming-Chi Kuo was among the first to rumor “Apple Glass;” concept by iSpazio

Well before the recent Jon Prosser leak surrounding "Apple Glass" and its release, Kuo was reporting on the technology. There are two distinct devices, one being an "AR headset" and the other a set of glasses, or "Apple Glass." Kuo's note says that manufacturing would begin sometime at the end of 2019, and ship in Q2 of 2020.

The manufacturing never began, but 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. These details have since been corroborated by other leaks, with only the release date still in question.

A report in May revealed that the Apple AR glasses wouldn't arrive until 2022, which was contested by Prosser, who expects them by the end of 2021.

"AirPods Studio"

“AirPods Studio” are expected to be a new design “AirPods Studio” are expected to be a new design

A note released in April 2020 said the Apple over-the-ear headphones, potentially called the "AirPods Studio" could start production in mid-2020. AirPods and AirPods Pro are to be updated in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The "AirPods Studio" have been rumored for a couple of years, with a Ming-Chi Kuo note in 2018 calling for a release that year, which didn't happen, but shows Apple's plans for a high-end headphone have been going for years.

"AirTags"

The rumored Apple "AirTags" are expected to ship in mid-2020. Kuo expects them to be ordered in the "tens of millions" by end of the year. The elusive tracking tags have been rumored since Apple's ultra-wideband feature leaked for the iPhone 11.

There have been no further reports from the TF International analyst, but other leakers have indicated the "AirTags" are expected to release in 2020. Apple announced that iOS 14 would allow third-party developers like Tile to tap into Find My, which will provide some competition to Apple's future Tile-like product.

Mac

Ming-Chi Kuo expects a “14-inch MacBook Pro” to ship in 2021 Ming-Chi Kuo expects a “14-inch MacBook Pro” to ship in 2021

Ming-Chi Kuo expects the first "ARM Mac" to be announced in the first half of 2021 with Apple Silicon, codenamed 1H21. 

Several reports point to Mini LED being used in multiple products in 2020, including a 14-inch MacBook Pro and a 24-inch iMac.

iPad

The iPad Pro is expected to have Mini LED displays provided by Jingdian and Innollux. As of this report, the iPad Pro with Mini LED was expected in late 2020, but other reports push its release to 2021.

Kuo predicts a redesigned iPad mini with a 9-inch screen in early 2021 with a similar design to the iPad Air 4. The standard iPad received an update in 2020 with an A12 chipset, just as Kuo previously stated.

Future iPads could have a Touch ID top button, expected in 2021.

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 analysis of Apple and its plans.

Timeline of Reports

The following is a timeline of every relevant report from Kuo predicting a new product or feature. Most predictions pertain to the iPhone 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.

2020

November

September

  • 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 

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

  • 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.

2019

December

November

October

September

August

July

April

March

February

2018

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

April

March

February

January

2017

December

November

October

August

July

May

March

February

January

2016

November

October

September

August

  • ”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.

May

April

March

February

January

2015

December

November

September

August

July

  • Apple Watch refresh expected with “sport models” in yellow and rose gold, a new iMac and iPad mini expected in 2015.

June

May

April

March

February

January

2014

November

October

September

April

Ming-Chi Kuo continues to provide reports from his current place of work, TF International.

 
 

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