Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has a big research report out today with his late-minute predictions for Apple’s September 9th media event.
It’s a doozy of a note, mainly because it lays out not only juicy iPhone 6 and iWatch details, but the revelation that Apple is expected to introduce the second-gen iPad Air at the event as well.
Kuo, who nailed most of the details surrounding the iPhone 5s/5c launch last year, is saying that both 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models will be announced. On top of that, both will have a 128GB storage option. He also makes some interesting predictions regarding Apple’s sapphire plans and iWatch specs.
On the iPad Air 2:
- Kuo believes Apple will announce the second-gen iPad Air at its event next week, which would certainly be unprecedented given that Apple typically holds an iPad and Mac-related event in October. Kuo is the first to suggest that iPad hardware will share the stage on September 9th.
- “Significant spec upgrades” for the iPad Air 2 will include Touch ID, A8 processor, and the previously reported anti-reflective screen. Apple is also expected to unveil a gold color option to match the iPhone, although that was rumored last year too.
- Kuo is uncertain whether the iPad mini will even see an update this fall. The second-gen iPad mini came out in November of last year.
On the iPhone 6:
- Kuo believes that, “Due to drop test issues, neither 4.7-inch nor 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will have a sapphire cover lens.” A sapphire cover is something Apple introduced with the iPhone 5’s camera, but with part leaks showing a protruding lens design for the iPhone 6, it looks like sapphire may not be the best material this time around.
- “Both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will come with 128GB,” according to Kuo. “Apple has strong bargaining power on NAND Flash price,” and previous reports have said that 32GB could become the base storage offering.
- The iPhone 6 will have a barometer for measuring air capacity in the user’s lungs, which has been rumored for measuring altitude and weather as well.
- As he predicted earlier, Kuo is reiterating that the iPhone 6’s power button will be moved to the side of the device. He also thinks the button “could be programmable to be integrated with specific applications.” So perhaps a personalized app launcher?
- As he’s said before, Kuo doesn’t expect the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 to ship with the 4.7-inch model. He’s projecting shipments to begin in late October to early November for the 5.5-inch.
On the iWatch:
- Apple’s wearable will allegedly come with 8GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM.
- Kuo expects there to be two sizes with a 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch screen, which lines up with what he’s said previously. The design will be “rectangular in front/ panel side shape” and there will be a “number of holes on the back side of the device that can be used to monitor users’ vital health signs such as heart rate.” Oh, and he expects a gold option like the 5s and iPad Air 2.
- As previously reported by other outlets, Kuo doesn’t believe the iWatch will start shipping until 2015.
Here’s Kuo’s updated shipment forecast for Apple’s new hardware:
We’ll find out what’s really happening soon enough. Cult of Mac will be at Apple’s media event this Tuesday.