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Consumer discretionary

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Guides For 5.8 Form Factor 2017

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Apple might release a 5.8 inch smaller than the 5.5 inch form factor of its current iPhone in 2017, according to well informed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a recent note to investors claims that Apple will release a phone in a completely new form factor which will allow it to use a 5.8 inch OLED screen in a form factor smaller than its current 5.5 inch iPhone. Kuo has proven to be a leading authority in predicting details regarding Apple’s product launches in the past. Just last year, the analyst predicted that Apple would be releasing an upgrade to the iPhone 5s in 2016, which has proved to be accurate with the launch of the iPhone SE and gives weight to his predictions.

It’s no secret that Apple will be switching its display technology to OLED with news last week indicating that the company had signed deals with Samsung Display for 60,000 OLED panels per month. However analysts have been guiding for the technology to be introduced to Apple’s iPhone line by 2018, but there are suggestions regarding the acceleration of that time frame to 2017. Mr. Kuo agrees with this assessment but has predicted additional details regarding the form factor, features and capabilities of the coming iPhone. According to the analyst, Apple is likely to seek to increase its screen size but will do it in a way that does not aesthetically detract from its iPhone or make it too unwieldy to use. The analyst suggests that by shaving down the bezels as well as the iPhone’s metal sides Apple will be able to accommodate a 5.8 inch screen on its 2017 iPhone and more excitingly in a form factor smaller than that of the current 5.5 inch iPhone.

However no other changes in design have been noted, indicating that the company’s design philosophy will remain unchanged apart from accommodating the new OLED display. The increase in screen size with decrease in overall form factor is a strategy that has been used by Samsung on its S7 Edge handset and Apple is probably trying to play catch up to demand for bigger screens without discomfort from form factor.

Apart from the screen and form factor, Kuo guides for features such as wireless charging that are already available on competing devices as well as innovative biometric security as Apple steps up its game thanks in part to its current legal tussle with the government. The new design philosophy is unproven but in the recent past, change in form factor has had a transformative impact on Apple’s demand.

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