Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst, has published new research urging investors to focus on three products this year: AirPods, a possible 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, and a lower-priced MacBook Air.
The first and second devices on his list have been discussed widely over the last few months, but the possibility of a cheaper MacBook Air will be news to most people.
Kuo does not provide details about what we should expect from such a device apart from the fact that it costs less. The present models, however, are quite outdated because Apple has not released any significant updates over the last three years.
In fact, the firm has reduced the number of available models by completely discontinuing the 11-inch version. The 13-inch model’s base processor received a boost in June 2017, but it is nevertheless still a Broadwell chip that can trace its roots back to 2014/15.
Apart from internal revamps such as graphics and processors, the display might also be upgraded. The MacBook Air presently comes with a 1440×900 non-retina display. Other likely changes could include a general redesign and a couple of Thunderbolt 3/USB-C upgrades.
Kuo believes the new version might be launched during the second quarter of this year. This, of course, brings us to the April-June period, which may mean the company might hold back the announcement until June’s WWDC.
In a different report, Kuo also forecasts that the numerous rumours surrounding state-of-the-art over-ear headphones as well as AirPods mean that these will be the future of the firm’s augmented reality and artificial intelligence plans. He is confident that, compared to HomePod, Apple’s headphones provide more opportunities for personalisation, reaching the market quickly and enhancing the rumoured AR glasses.
He is very positive about the future of AirPods in the marketplace, but not so much about HomePods, for which demand has been lacklustre to say the least.