When Apple announced the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C there were almost no surprises.
Just about everything (other than the price of the iPhone 5C) was expected.
A big reason Apple failed to surprise was that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo pretty much nailed every single major detail about the iPhone.
Let’s run down his major predictions:
- August 10: He says Apple will have a scratch resistant sapphire home button with a fingerprint scanner. Correct! (Unfortunately, he also said he thought the button would be made convex instead of concave. Incorrect!)
- August 15: A gold iPhone. Correct! (He also said there would be a 128 GB model. Incorrect!) He called for the camera to be unchanged with an 8 megapixel lens, but with a f/2 aperture. Apple did keep the 8 MP lens, but went with a f/2.2 aperture. Close enough! He also called for the dual flash. Correct!
- August 16: Apple will kill the iPhone 5, replacing it with the iPhone 5C, and it will keep the iPhone 4S. Correct! (He said the iPhone 5C would sell for $US400-$500. Incorrect!)
Tallying up his record, you’ll note he’s not perfect. Yes, Kuo missed on a few things here and there, but the broad outlines are accurate. And compared to most analysts he’s really accurate. See here, here, here, and here for totally off the mark analyst reports.
Where he was straight-up wrong was on timing. In March, he thought the iPhone 5S would be released in June. In his defence, do did a lot of people. Maybe that was the original idea from Apple? Whatever the case may be, in the future we can ignore his timing, but pay attention to his product details.
When the rumour mill starts cranking next year, Kuo will be one of the analysts to watch. He’s clearly plugged into the supply chain which is where this stuff can leak.
We don’t know much about Kuo. He’s not an analyst that appears on TV, or sends out his reports to dozens of reporters. His firm, KGI Securities, is based in Taiwan. We asked a fellow reporter for an intro and only got: “Not allowed to give out. Sorry.” We grabbed his email from a Bloomberg terminal, but the email just bounced and doesn’t seem to work.
He probably wants to keep a low profile to serve his clients, and avoid the wrath of Apple, which doesn’t like corporate secrets leaking.
Speaking of the iPhone 6 rumour mill… Kuo is already predicting a bigger iPhone for 2014.
So, if you were impatiently waiting for Apple to make a bigger iPhone, it looks like you’re in luck next year.