Kuo: iPhone 12 is selling well, redesigned Macs and Apple Watch expected in 2021
The company is saving the bigger surprises for next yearBy Adrian Potoroaca
Bottom line: Apple's new iPhone 12, iPad Air, Watch Series 6, Watch SE, and M1 Macs are reportedly selling well, if only a bit slower than expected for the iPhone 12 mini and accessories like AirPods and AirPods Pro. Next year, the company could bring a design refresh for the MacBook Pros, iMac, and the Apple Watch.
Apple's iPhone 12 lineup launched last month to mostly favorable reviews, thanks to the inclusion of 5G connectivity, faster silicon, Ceramic Shield screen protection, and new industrial design that makes them a bit less likely to slip out of your hand when compared to previous models. Some people, however, don't feel like they're compelling upgrades, to say nothing of the uncalled for MagSafe wireless charging technology that comes with a lot of caveats.
In his most recent report, analyst Ming Chi-Kuo says Apple is seeing stronger than expected demand for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models, which is offsetting lower than expected demand for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini.
Kuo expects the iPhone 13 to come in the same four sizes, but also notes the ultra wide cameras on the Pro models will be upgraded to f/1.8, 6P (six-element lens) with autofocus, which would be a marked improvement over the f/2.4, 5P (five-element lens) ultra wide shooters with fixed focus on the current models.
The new iPad Air is also seeing strong demand, and Apple is planning to keep the momentum going while it prepares new Pro models equipped with mini-LED displays and 5G connectivity. These are expected to launch sometime in the first half of 2021, followed by updates to the regular iPad and the iPad mini.
Kuo also notes the reception to Apple's first Apple Silicon Macs is positive, with the company selling them as fast as they can be made in the factories. But most importantly, the company is potentially saving billions of dollars from the switch to the M1 SoC. A redesigned MacBook Pro 16 as well as highly awaited Pro 14 and new iMac are expected to launch in 2021, which may include both Intel and Apple Silicon versions -- and who knows, maybe a resizable and movable trackpad for Apple's flagship laptop.
The new Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE are selling well so far, but Kuo says that AirPods are seeing lower than expected shipments, with a forecasted decline of anywhere between 5 and 10 percent year-over-year for the first half of 2021.
This hinges on signs that the launch of AirPods 3 may have been delayed from early 2021 to the second half of next year. That may also be true for the Apple Series 7, which is expected to come in a new form factor and with "additional health management functions".