Apple-focused analyst Ming-Chi Kuo leaves KGI

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2020
Known for often having an inside track on Apple's product plans, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reportedly left Taiwan's KGI Securities, and is expected to drop his focus on Apple.

Kuo took the lead in claims about the specs of this fall's iPhones.
Kuo took the lead in claims about the specs of this fall's iPhones.


Ming-Chi Kuo's last day was Apr. 27, according to the China Times. While his destination is unknown, the Times suggested that his focus will probably "extend to more emerging industries."

At KGI, Kuo used his supply chain connections to discern product details that were often unusually accurate, then share his investor memos with AppleInsider and other publications. In 2014, for example, he correctly predicted some specifications of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the announcement of the Apple Watch, though its launch would only happen in 2015.

Kuo was making Apple forecasts as recently as April 26, suggesting that this fall's rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will adopt new touch technology and might forego 3D Touch to keep prices down. Indeed the analyst appears to have been the first to predict that Apple will ship the 6.1-inch device as well as 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED models.

He has also predicted things like a cheaper HomePod, and a redesigned Watch with a bigger screen, better battery life, and more health monitoring upgrades.

Not all of his claims have panned out, but the analyst's departure could deprive the Apple rumor mill of some of the early glimpses it has become used to.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,379member
    Was just reading about that. He's made his name known and likely much more valuable as an analyst now with great connections. Not entirely a surprise to see that he's probably moving to presumably much greener pastures.
    edited April 2018 [Deleted User]
  • Reply 2 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,065member
    At KGI, Kuo used his supply chain connections to discern product details that were often unusually accurate, then share his investor memos with AppleInsider and other publications. 
    AI never made clear if it was paying for the research notes ala a subscription, or if Kuo gave them to AI to publish. I always found this lack of transparency annoying. Knowing whether they were a product or a gift is relevant when it comes to weighting them as news or stock market manipulation. 
    edited April 2018 netmage[Deleted User]randominternetpersonSpamSandwichrepressthis
  • Reply 3 of 25
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,946member
    In other words he was a spy, receiving confidential information from workers who should have been fired. Sorry, there’s no way I can give people like him and positive recognition. 
    netmageolsStevenSterkRayz2016SpamSandwichtallest skilrepressthisaegeananantksundarambrakken
  • Reply 4 of 25
    "Inside track" = best network of paid informers.
    anton zuykovrepressthis
  • Reply 5 of 25
    uraharaurahara Posts: 631member
    I think his incorect predictions might have been a trick to hide where his connections are.
    anton zuykov
  • Reply 6 of 25
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    Apple must be relieved that he is no longer broadcasting their product roadmap - which can be very damaging. I assume he will continue to provide this info to the Chinese knock-off manufacturers, unless he's leaving the 'industry' because he's in some legal hot water.
    SpamSandwichcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 25
    olsols Posts: 49member
    Best news of the day. Thank you
    StevenSterkradarthekatrandominternetpersonSpamSandwichcornchipberndogteejay2012repressthisanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    He had spies. I liked it better when product announcements were a surprise.
    SpamSandwichcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 25
    he made a name for himself so I don't doubt he'll have a hard time finding a new role or indeed working for himself in a similar capacity
  • Reply 10 of 25
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,377member
    At KGI, Kuo used his supply chain connections to discern product details that were often unusually accurate, then share his investor memos with AppleInsider and other publications. 
    AI never made clear if it was paying for the research notes ala a subscription, or if Kuo gave them to AI to publish. I always found this lack of transparency annoying. Knowing whether they were a product or a gift is relevant when it comes to weighting them as news or stock market manipulation. 
    I've always been a bit puzzled by the hyperbolic descriptors that oft appeared alongside mentions of Kuo's name, not just here, but across various sites that have reported out Kuo's 'research.' It certainly could've just been a bandwagon effect, but it was so consistently done that it seemed perhaps to be some kind of a condition for access. I would still like to see a serious comparison of track records for various analysts to see if Kuo's information was (is?) more reliable than others. To achieve any kind of statistical validity for such a comparison would be more work than it's worth, but maybe some graduate student could take that on as a thesis project. Still, without that sort of research to back it up, the fawning references always seemed to be peculiarly boastful to me.

    As far as today's news, the suddenness of it makes one wonder if Apple finally rooted out Kuo's "connections" and put the hammer down on his employer to shut down the operation. While having supply-chain leaks is useful for sites like this and entertaining to readers like us, it's undoubtedly corrosive to Apple's business. Apart from the obvious damage done to competitiveness against other tech firms, having a constant stream of info on products months or years before their introduction only contributes to the negative perceptions of supposed 'incrementalism.' It kind of kills the wow factor for product release events when most of the coverage is a comparison to expectations based on leaked info. The kids get weirdly unexcited on Christmas morning when they've already carefully opened and re-wrapped every present under the tree, and they end up being more focused on disappointment over what else they wanted and didn't get.
    SpamSandwichradarthekatRonnnieOanantksundaramviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,299member
    rob53 said:
    In other words he was a spy, receiving confidential information from workers who should have been fired. Sorry, there’s no way I can give people like him and positive recognition. 
    I'm kinda thinking that's what happened and maybe his source was let go (fired) so he was kinda SOL now. I guess we'll see. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    nunzy said:
    He had spies. I liked it better when product announcements were a surprise.
    Were one to stop visiting rumors sites, one could be so surprised as to tumble from chair during announcements, each more surprising than the last.
    baconstangcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    I think Kuo and information thieves like him are scum.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,689member
    This forum closing in 3...2...1...
    cornchiprepressthis
  • Reply 15 of 25
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,497moderator
    I never found his revelations to be all that earth shaking.  Many among us here predicted a fanless macbook.  Pretty sure I was earlier than any analyst in predicting Apple would bring back the MacBook name (without Air or Pro suffix).  

    We all were discussing a watch before analysts told us Apple would make one, and had put in our predictions for eventual watch bands that would add functionality (medical sensing, etc) even before the watch came out.  

    Screen dimensions were a favorite among predictions prior to the iPhone 6 and folks here did calculations to show what would make sense based upon the way Apple sizes elements like buttons and such.  Pretty sure no analyst informed those discussions more than the readers and contributors here.

    And then, of course, there’s the big huge blind spot where analysts fail to see the implications of moves Apple has already made.  The Beats acquisition comes to mind.  Apple overpaid seemed to be the concensus, never taking into account that a few years of Beats hardware, on its own, would pay back the purchase price, and doing nothing but poo pooing the Apple Music UI, failing entirely to predict the 10, 20, 30, and now 40 million subscriber marks that have come in fairly rapid succession. 

    The importance of Apple as a platform builder, with plenty of integration between their many platforms such that capabilities from one can be transferred to others, and the user experience that can be fairly unified as a result.  This has rarely been touted by analysts who only see, and attempt to chop away at, one tree at-a-time, trying to fell the huge and growing forest of Apple works with their hatchet job reporting and ‘analysis.’  

    Meanwhile, the biggest picture remains intact; Apple speaks to its markets via refined products that deliver convenience and capabilities to people through almost magically transparent, minimalist design.  The task at hand is key and central, the technology is mere context within which that task is performed.  What would our gadgets and work tools look like today if Apple had never existed.  Would another have stepped in and bridged the gap between intuition and functionality?  Even if so, then we would have that agent to thank.  But it went the way it went and we have Apple to thank, even if many are unwilling to step back sufficiently to see that.

    Kuo, with all his hand waving, added little to the important discussion about Apple. 

    /rant
    cornchipAppleZuluSpamSandwichretrogustoStrangeDaysrepressthisanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,245member
    We may not like to admit it, but at some level there is a symbiotic relationship between Apple and the rumormeisters like Kuo. If the only buzz created around Apple was based on Apple's own carefully orchestrated and scripted announcements sites like this one would be very quiet and somewhat boring. It's very similar to professional sports in the US. The NFL teams only play 16 regular season games a year but the massive hype industry surrounding the NFL sustains the buzz 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, with dedicated networks of media always-on. We're truly living in a hype-as-a-service (HAAS) world whether we like it or not, from technobabble to sports to politics. Something's gotta keep all those ones and zeros flying around all of the massive forms of media that mankind has created and hype-as-a-service is one of the persistent streams that keeps it all lit-up all of the time.

    Someone will fill the void left by Kuo, in very short order.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 25
    If MCK's supply chain connections are worth anything they will be conveyed to some other analyst and the rumors will continue.  However, information sources of this type have a tendency to dry up or get stale, as the industry changes week by week.

    Let us pause to imagine what the biggest surprise might be in forthcoming Apple products and services.  I don't think it is something an analyst can tell us.  They are always thinking in terms of the next quarter, using as information products and market information from the most recent quarter.  This is too short a time frame to provide context for the kind of change Apple is capable to bring.  The question is, will Apple do it?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 25
    mavemufcmavemufc Posts: 326member
    Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, he gets some right but a lot wrong as well just like any analyst I suppose.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    Shame really, out of all those analysts he was usually by far the most accurate...RIP the rumor mill 😏
  • Reply 20 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    1983 said:
    Shame really, out of all those analysts he was usually by far the most accurate...RIP the rumor mill 😏
    Him no longer covering AAPL, the stock of the world's most profitable company, would seem to indicate that he has failed, not that he has succeeded.
    rob53
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