MacBook Pro may get a swanky screen upgrade later this year

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Antonio takes rumors and makes them into renders. Not pie-in-sky dreams
Would you be excited at the prospect of a redesigned, mini-LED MacBook Pro?
Concept: Antonio De Rosa

Mini-LED screens, branded by Apple as “Liquid Retina XDR” displays, are reportedly coming to MacBook Pro. In a note to clients Friday, seen by Cult of Mac, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models — featuring Liquid Retina XDR displays and an all-new design — will enter mass production in the third-quarter of 2021.

This contrasts with a May report that claimed the launch of Apple’s mini LED-backlit MacBook series had been postponed to 2022. It’s not clear whether that information was incorrect, or whether Apple and its suppliers have been able to solve whatever problem they may have been facing.

Beats Studio Buds offset falling AirPods sales ahead of health-tracking upgrade

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Beats Studio Buds come in white.
An early success.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new Beats Studio Buds are helping to offset a recent decline in headphones sales before an “innovative” health-tracking AirPods Pro upgrade arrives next year, according to one reliable analyst.

AirPods shipments could fall to just 70-75 million units for 2021, warns TF International Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo. But Apple’s total headphones shipments could jump to more than 100 million units in 2022.

Top analyst remains confident Apple AR headset will come in 2022

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Taeyeon Kim
Not too much longer to wait?
Photo: Taeyeon Kim

Apple will launch its head-mounted augmented reality display in the second quarter of 2022, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities.

It will feature lenses built by Genius Electronic Optical, which Kuo says will be the “sole supplier” for the high-end camera lenses in the forthcoming iPhone 13. (Largan Precision supposedly sent Apple samples for the handset’s rear wide lens and rear telephoto lens that failed to live up to Cupertino’s exacting standards. As a result, Apple canceled its Largan orders for iPhone 13 and will give them to Genius instead.)

Under-display Face ID could eliminate iPhone’s notch in 2023

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Face ID
Ready for the next iteration of Face ID?
Photo: Apple

Apple will debut an under-display Face ID setup to debut in 2023, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims in a Wednesday report to clients, seen by Cult of Mac.

Kuo doesn’t elaborate on the feature but, provided he’s accurate, this could potentially mean the end of the “notch” which has been a part of the iPhone design dating back to 2017’s iPhone X.

2021 could mark end of the road for iPhone mini

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iPhone 12 mini
iPhone 12 mini was a great phone. Trouble is that it didn't sell.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

The iPhone mini looks unlikely to last longer than one more generation, based on a Wednesday report from a reliable Apple tipster.

Looking forward to the 2022 iPhone, TFI International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple will continue its recent pattern of releasing four models. However, these will include higher-end 6.7-inch and 6.1-inch iPhones like the current Pro lineup, and lower-end models in the same sizes.

The 5.4-inch iPhone mini sounds like it’ll be nowhere to be found.

Forget swiping, Apple’s AR headset will react to what users are looking at

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Hololens
Microsoft's HoloLens are currently the mixed reality glasses to beat.
Photo: Microsoft

Apple’s upcoming augmented reality head-mounted display will be controlled by eye-tracking technology, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says in a note sent to clients Friday.

Instead of using hand controls, the technology will be able to detect wearers’ eye movements and blinking, then instantly compute the required information so it can be seen on the device’s micro-OLED display.

Days of explosive growth for AirPods may already be over

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AirPods Pro with black background discounts
AirPods have been a massive winner for Apple since 2016.
Photo: Apple

The massive growth days of the AirPods may already be over, according to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a new note to clients seen by Cult of Mac, Kuo said he anticipates a year-over-year decline in AirPods shipments in 2021. If true, this would be the first year in AirPods history that sales didn’t experience explosive growth.

8-inch folding iPhone could arrive in 2023

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Apple invents a unique, no-crease folding iPhone screen
Apple could be set to follow Samsung into the world of folding phones.
Photo: Samsung

Apple could release its first folding iPhone in the next couple of years, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says.

In a new research note to clients, seen by Cult of Mac, Kuo writes that “if Apple can solve the foldable mobile device’s key technology and mass production issues in 2021, then [it] may launch the 7.5 [to] 8-inch foldable iPhone in 2023.”

HDMI port and SD card reader supposedly will return to MacBook Pro this year

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Apple_macbookpro-13-inch_screen_05042020
MacBook Pro is getting a big redesign this year.
Photo: Apple

From the sound of things, Apple is going back to the past for its next-gen MacBook Pro — and, depending on who you ask, that could be a very good thing.

The next MacBook Pro is already rumored to bring back the MagSafe charger and kill off the LED Touch Bar in favor of a row of physical keys.

Now, in a new note to clients, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says this year’s pro laptop will come with a built-in SD card reader and an HDMI port. These have been MIA since 2016, when Apple went all in on USB-C — and started ditching MacBook ports like they were going out of style.