Last night, KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo sent out a monster research note to investors with a timeline of when he thinks Apple will release their new products this year. He also offered details on each product, which he’s learned from his supply chain connections and other sources.
We’ve already covered Kuo’s iWatch predictions, which called for a “fashionable” smartwatch with advanced features like biometric sensors and wireless charging, and now it’s time to look at his iPhone forecasts. The analyst sees two Apple-branded smartphones launching this year…
Again, Kuo agrees with previous speculation that Apple is building two different handsets: a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch model. They’ll have the same internals though—just like the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display—including an A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, and of course Touch ID.
Display-wise, the analyst believes the 4.7-inch model will feature a 1334×740 Retina display (326 ppi) and the 5.5-inch a 1920×1080 display (401 ppi). Admittedly, the resolutions are odd, but it looks like both panels have the same aspect ratio as the iPhone 5—meaning no need to redesign apps.
As for appearance, Kuo expects both phones to have slimmer bezels around the screen (10-20% narrower) and thinner profiles of just 6.5-7.0mm. He also thinks that Apple will move the iPhone’s sleep/wake button from the top to the side, in an effort to make the larger devices easier to operate.
Finally, Kuo calls for an NFC chip in both smartphones—a technology that Apple has thus far avoided in its mobile products. Keep in mind, though, that the company has filed severalNFC-related patents over the years, and is believed to have pulled NFC chips from the iPhone 5 at the last minute.
The 4.7-inch iPhone is expected to go into production as early as May, ahead of a likely September launch, while the 5.5-inch model is believed to be slated for a later Q4 debut. Kuo sees Apple ending production on the iPhone 4 and 4s, with the 5s and 5c rounding out Apple’s smartphone lineup.
It’s worth noting again that all of this intel came from an analyst report, and despite his track record, nothing is certain.