Ming-Chi Kuo: Expect an avalanche of new Apple gear in 1H20
Fresh off another record quarter, Apple looks to be doubling down on hardware updates and new releases in the first half of 2020. At least that’s what Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities predicts. According to Kuo, Apple has a slew of product announcements that it is readying for the first half of 2020 including: the long-rumored budget 4.7-iphone; an iPad Pro refresh; AirTags; MacBook Pro/Air refresh; a small wireless charging mat and a set of high-end Bluetooth cans.
The revamped MacBook Pro is expected to be a 14-inch model that follows in the design footsteps of the all-new 16-inch MacBook launched in late 2019. This will replace the 13.3-inch model fitted with the ill-fated butterfly switch keyboard and will come with Apple's new scissor switch mechanism. Similarly the refreshed MacBook Air will get the upgraded keyboard while both are also in line for an upgrade to Intel's 10th gen silicon.
Following the demise of original and popular 4-inch iPhone SE which offered similar bang-for-your buck, a lot of Apple fans have been hanging out for a sequel. We already know that the budget iPhone is thought to be called either the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9 and will be priced at just US$399. It will incorporate Touch ID in the Home button, have a 4.7-inch LCD display but will be powered by a recent high-end Apple A-series SoC – possibly the A13 Bionic chip paired with 3GB of RAM.
The iPad Pro refresh will bring with it a likely A13X chipset, with X-coded chips typically offering higher clock rates than the chip they are based on as well as upgraded graphics performance. Notably, Apple is thought to be adding a much more powerful rear camera set up this time around with a triple camera arrangement similar to that seen on the rear of the iPhone 11 Pro a possibility. This could also incorporate a 3D ToF sensor for enhanced AR capabilities.
Also in-bound are Apple’s answer to Tile’s popular tracking tags – these could be called Apple AirTags. Kuo expects them to be powered by an Ultra-Wideband wireless chip that should offer better location accuracy than either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Interestingly, despite the embarrassing vaporware fail with the promised AirPower charging mat, Apple will be back with a new charging mat but it will be smaller and less ambitious.
Finally, Apple is also working on a high-end Bluetooth headset that could aim to capitalize on the success of its AirPods and AirPods Pro earphones. It is possible these could cannibalize Apple-owned Beats sales, but Apple has long thought it better to cannibalize its own product line up than cede sales to the competition. Expect something that is an over-ear or on-ear type but it will undoubtedly have something else to offer not already found on other headphones.