'iPhone 6' will lack sapphire cover but gain 128GB variant, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2014
Apple's "iPhone 6" will not feature a scratch-resistant sapphire screen cover, but both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch versions will come with new higher-capacity options of 128 gigabytes of storage, a barometric pressure sensor, and a programmable power button, according to one well-connected insider.

Alleged 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 mockups with iPhone 5s. | Source: TechSmartt via YouTube


Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities revealed in a new research note on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, that he expects both sizes of the new iPhone to be unveiled at Apple's Sept. 9 media event. However, he doesn't expect shipments of the jumbo-sized 5.5-inch model to ramp up until later this year.

As a result, Kuo believes the 5.5-inch "iPhone 6" may not debut until sometime after its smaller 4.7-inch brethren. He also believes Apple may have difficulty keeping up with demand for the larger variant through the end of 2014.

But he does expect that both models will offer 128 gigabyte versions, which would double the current maximum capacity of 64 gigabytes found in the iPhone 5s. Apple already offers 128-gigabyte versions of its larger iPad Air and iPad mini.

In addition, Kuo also said Thursday that the "iPhone 6" will boast a barometric pressure sensor, which he believes will provide support for more indoor navigation applications, as well as new health-related functions related to spirometry.

Kuo also believes the next iPhone will have a programmable power button, which he said will be "programmable to being integrated with specific applications." The "iPhone 6" is believed to move the power button from the top of the device to the right side, allowing more easily for one-handed use with larger 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens.

"iPhone 6" and "iPhone 6c" concepts by Martin Hajek.


While Kuo sees those new additions coming once the "iPhone 6" is formally unveiled next week, one feature he doesn't expect to see is a costly sapphire display cover.

Sapphire screen hype for the "iPhone 6" was largely driven by hopeful fans after Apple signed a $578 million deal with GT Advanced Technology for supply of the material. But Apple already uses sapphire on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 5s, as well as the rear camera lens on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, and use of the material is expected to expand even further this year with new iPhone and iPad models -- uses that could explain the exclusive arrangement.

Apple is set to hold an event next Tuesday, Sept. 9, where it is widely expected to show off its latest iPhones, as well as offer a sneak peek at the company's wearable "iWatch." Kuo also believes that Apple will debut a new iPad Air at the jam-packed event, adding a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and new gold color option to the company's full-size tablet.

The keynote presentation from the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif., will kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. AppleInsider will be there with full, live coverage of Apple's announcements. For up-to-the-minute alerts, be sure to install the official AppleInsider app on your iPhone and iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So not only does AI label this guess work packaged as a research note as "Breaking" it has to split it up in to multiple posts? Why do Apple rumor sites give Ming-Chi Kuo so much real estate?
  • Reply 2 of 52
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Yes. I'm ok with that. Pretty much what I expected:

    4.7" iPhone 6
    16 GB - $199
    64 GB - $299
    128 GB - $399

    5.5" iPhone 6
    16 GB - $299
    64 GB - $399
    128 GB - $499

    Come the event, we'll see if this is not 100% ^
    I'm really confident in it right now.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    "Key spec forecasts – No sapphire cover lens, 128GB, built-in barometer pressure sensor & programmable power key"

    So Apple's ramping up sapphire production only to ditch it on the camera lens?
  • Reply 4 of 52
    rogifan wrote: »
    So not only does AI label this guess work packaged as a research note as "Breaking" it has to split it up in to multiple posts? Why do Apple rumor sites give Ming-Chi Kuo so much real estate?

    Then don't read and comment on it. Stop complaining so much. This site has to make money somehow and you'd do the same thing if you wanted to run a site that didn't charge a fee.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    Kuo also believes the next iPhone will have a programmable power button, which he said will be "programmable to being integrated with specific applications."

    Normally he only writes his opinions on the HW side no? So how come he now writes about software, did he gain access to iOS8 that shows the sleep/wake button is now programmable?
  • Reply 6 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post



    Yes. I'm ok with that. Pretty much what I expected:



    4.7" iPhone 6

    16 GB - $199

    64 GB - $299

    128 GB - $399



    5.5" iPhone 6

    16 GB - $299

    64 GB - $399

    128 GB - $499



    Come the event, we'll see if this is not 100% ^

    I'm really confident in it right now.

     

    I think the 16 will be 32 and then 64/128 at those price points

  • Reply 7 of 52
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

     

     

    I think the 16 will be 32 and then 64/128 at those price points




    That is the same wish people have had every year for 6 years. We have a pretty convincing (and sensible) rumor to the contrary.

     

    There is no reason for Apple to change the base model.

  • Reply 8 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sirlance99 wrote: »
    Then don't read and comment on it. Stop complaining so much. This site has to make money somehow and you'd do the same thing if you wanted to run a site that didn't charge a fee.

    Doesn't explain why this stuff is labeled as "Breaking". And if you don't like my complaining you're free to ignore it. :p
  • Reply 9 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    That is the same wish people have had every year for 6 years. We have a pretty convincing (and sensible) rumor to the contrary.

     

    There is no reason for Apple to change the base model.


    Sorry I don't see how there isn't a 32 in some way shape or form. 

  • Reply 10 of 52
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,544member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    So not only does AI label this guess work packaged as a research note as "Breaking" it has to split it up in to multiple posts? Why do Apple rumor sites give Ming-Chi Kuo so much real estate?

    Pageviews, silly.

     

    We have covered this topic multiple times. This is an Apple rumor site that worships the Almighty Pageview. If you want news, go read the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

     

    If you want to read ludicrous twaddle that is wrong >95% of the time, along with hilariously asinine reader commentary, then enjoy this site (and others like MacRumors, 9to5Mac, BGR, Engadget, etc.).

     

    But stop asking why the site operator post garbage. That's their business model.

  • Reply 11 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Is the camera lens cover on the iPod touch sapphire?
  • Reply 12 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mpantone wrote: »
    Pageviews, silly.

    We have covered this topic multiple times. This is an Apple rumor site that worships the Almighty Pageview. If you want news, go read the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

    If you want to read ludicrous twaddle that is wrong >95% of the time, along with hilariously asinine reader commentary, then enjoy this site (and others like MacRumors, 9to5Mac, BGR, Engadget, etc.).
    Yeah I know these are mostly rhetorical questions. ;)
  • Reply 13 of 52
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

     

    Sorry I don't see how there isn't a 32 in some way shape or form. 




    Because you haven't thought about it for more than 3 seconds.

     

    16 GB is Apple's highest margin storage option, and is also the lowest price iPhone, and is also the highest selling model. They aren't going to want to mess with that in anyway. People that chose this model today do so with PRICE as the primary motivator. They don't care how much storage it has....just what's the cheapest I can get the 'new' iPhone. Apple has no reason to lose a dollar to two dollars per iPhone to those people by just giving them 32 GB instead.

     

    However, for people who DO want more storage....the prices on 32 & 64 are getting ridiculous. If Apple were to replace 32 & 64 with 64 & 128, it would be tremendous jump in value for the user.

     

    In this scenario, there is no room for a 32 GB at all....and everyone wins.

  • Reply 14 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

    16 GB is Apple's highest margin storage option, 

    [...]

    However, for people who DO want more storage....the prices on 32 & 64 are getting ridiculous. 


     

    contradictory statements.

     

    the margin on the 32/64 is much higher than on the 16, because they add $100/200 per level despite much smaller component cost increases. they make more on the 32/64 than they do on the 16 -- thus they have higher margins than the 16.

  • Reply 15 of 52
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post

     

     

    contradictory statements.

     

    the margin on the 32/64 is much higher than on the 16, because they add $100/200 per level despite much smaller component cost increases. they make more on the 32/64 than they do on the 16 -- thus they have higher margins than the 16.




    At the current price points. Try to change the price points and that all changes. They do not make as much money on a 32 at $199 as they do a 16. That is the point. It may only be a dollar or two difference, but that is still 10s of millions of dollars.

  • Reply 16 of 52
    mpantone wrote: »
    Pageviews, silly.

    We have covered this topic multiple times. This is an Apple rumor site that worships the Almighty Pageview. If you want news, go read the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

    If you want to read ludicrous twaddle that is wrong >95% of the time, along with hilariously asinine reader commentary, then enjoy this site (and others like MacRumors, 9to5Mac, BGR, Engadget, etc.).

    But stop asking why the site operator post garbage. That's their business model.
    Beautifully described. Especially the asinine reader commentary part. Brought a tear to my eye ????
  • Reply 17 of 52
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    At the current price points. Try to change the price points and that all changes. They do not make as much money on a 32 at $199 as they do a 16. That is the point. It may only be a dollar or two difference, but that is still 10s of millions of dollars.


    You're still wrong.

     

    32gb @ $199 obviously costs Apple more than 16gb @ $199.  But you're wrong still when you say 16gb is their highest margin phone- or that it would remain so.

    64gb and 128gb @ your proposed $299 & $399 price points would still be higher margins than 16 @ $199.

  • Reply 18 of 52
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

     

    You're still wrong.

     

    32gb @ $199 obviously costs Apple more than 16gb @ $199.  But you're wrong still when you say 16gb is their highest margin phone- or that it would remain so.

    64gb and 128gb @ your proposed $299 & $399 price points would still be higher margins than 16 @ $199.


    Right, but his point is that if Apple makes the entry-level model more attractive (by giving it a very reasonable 32gb) then people are more-likely to choose that option rather than the next model up.  His "higher margin" language is faulty, but his logic is sound.  Except that Apple also has to worry about bargain basement buyers switching away from the iPhone.  So the baseline specs have to keep moving up at some pace.

  • Reply 19 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post



    Yes. I'm ok with that. Pretty much what I expected:



    4.7" iPhone 6

    16 GB - $199

    64 GB - $299

    128 GB - $399



    5.5" iPhone 6

    16 GB - $299

    64 GB - $399

    128 GB - $499



    Come the event, we'll see if this is not 100% ^

    I'm really confident in it right now.

    This is possibly going to be the last year that carriers will sell devices subsidized.  

     Most of the US carriers are going to move towards a financing model permanently.   

    So pricing will revert back to the same as it was during the original iPhone and the carrier will finance you.

    It's a new shell game.

  • Reply 20 of 52

    Looks like other OEMs are already putting sapphire on their phones. Huawei Ascend Mate 7 has it

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