In a note to clients — as noted by …. well, pretty much every website that covers Apple — analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a plethora of predictions for products to be released this year. Here’s a round-up of them and the chances the Sellers Research Firm (that’s me) thinks they have of coming true.
Apple will introduce new 16-inch to 16.5-inch MacBook Pros aimed at hardcore games and pro designers. Kuo also expects an upgraded version of 13-inch MacBook Pro with support for 32GB of RAM (up from the current limit of 16GB).
I think there’s a 90% chance this will happen. I didn’t think Apple would ever move in this direction again, but I’ve previously called for the return of the 17-inch MacBook Pro.
Kuo is looking forward to a 31.5-inch Apple 6K display that will will feature "outstanding picture quality thanks to its adoption of the Mini LED-like backlight design.” I think there’s a 75% chance this will happen. I think we will see a 31.5-inch display as other companies such as LG (pictured) and Dell have released such models. However, I think it will be 5K rather than 6K.
The display will be targeted to MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro users. And Kuo says the 2019 Mac Pro will indeed be modular as Apple has promised.
So can we expect a 31.5-inch iMac and iMac Pro? I hope so.
Kuo says this year’s iPhone will sport frosted glass, bigger batteries, an ultra-wide band for enhanced indoor positioning, and a triple-lens camera, and the ability to charger other devices. I think there’s an 80% chance this will happen — although I’m slightly dubious about the ability to charge other gadgets.
The analyst’s crystal ball sees new iPad Pros (including a 10.2-inch model) and the return of a ceramic Apple Watch this year. There’s a 100% chance all these products will be released in the last half of the year. And I’ve finally capitulated and agree with the rumors that a new iPad mini will debut (in the first half of the year).
Kuo says new AirPods and the long-awaited AirPower wireless charger will arrive in the first half of 2019. I’m expecting to see them in April or May.
Finally, in a report NOT from Kuo, Jefferies analyst Tim O’Shea expects Apple’s upcoming streaming service will cost $15 per month. That makes sense IF Apple plans to charge that for a bundle with the streaming service, Apple Music, and its upcoming news/magazine subscription service. If the video streaming service is stand-alone, I think Apple will only charge $10 a month (at first to lure in users; in time the price will rise).