KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with yet another report pertaining to Apple’s potential plans for the iPhone 7. This time around, the well-respected analyst – who has had an impressive record of predicting Apple’s product plans – is suggesting that Apple has plans to introduce a single iPhone 7 Plus model this coming fall. That speculation is in direct contrast to an earlier report from Kuo, who had previously suggested that the Cupertino-based company would look to penetrate the smartphone market with two iPhone 7 Plus models as part of efforts to appeal to consumers who would pay a little extra for a more performant “Pro” version of the 5.5-inch device.
Kuo’s earlier predictions focused on the potential for Apple to introduce two very different iPhone 7 Plus models in the second-half of 2016. One of those models was speculated to ship with a single camera lens that would match the specification and performance of the smaller iPhone 7. The second model was reportedly meant to appeal to consumers looking for a higher end device, with Kuo and KGI suggesting that the “Pro” model could ship with the highly speculated dual-lens camera setup that has been discussed so widely over the last few months.
However, Ming-Chi Kuo now believes that this won’t be the case, with Apple opting to yet again play safe by not diversifying the ‘Plus’ lineup of iPhone. More importantly, the report also backs up earlier speculation that 3GB of RAM will be exclusive to the larger handset, which means the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 will carry on with the 2GB RAM found in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
In a previous report, we said the new 5.5-inch iPhone model (referred to as iPhone 7 Plus), to be launched in 2H16, may come in two versions: one with rear single-camera and the other with rear dual-camera. However, we now believe Apple (US) will only roll out the dual-camera version in 2H16, with 3GB RAM to meet image processing requirements, and we estimate shipments of this model in 2016F of 20-30mn units.
If this information turns out to be accurate, the interesting aspect will be to see how many customers actually opt to move away from the 4.7-inch iPhone in favor of the higher specification on the larger screen device. Will the appeal of the dual-lens camera and reported 3GB of RAM be enough to convince consumers to adopt the larger display?
It’s likely that we will learn more about the legitimacy of these predictions in the coming months, but given Kuo’s track record, it’s difficult to immediately dismiss this out of hand.
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