KGI: Apple Developing High-End Over-Ear Headphones, Launching Late 2018 at the Earliest

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note outlining his expectations for Apple’s “acoustic accessories” pipeline, claiming the company is working on both updated AirPods and “own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones” with an “all-new design.” The new over-ear headphones are said to debut in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest.

Apple to have own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones with all-new design; to be as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality; shipments to begin 4Q18F at earliest; Primax & SZS will be the key suppliers & will benefit from high ASPs. We believe that after AirPods and HomePod, Apple’s next addition will be high-end over-ear headphones, making its acoustic accessory lineup more complete. Existing suppliers Primax and SZS will be Apple’s partners on this new product. Primax will receive assembly orders on its familiarity with the acoustic business, and SZS is likely to use MIM technology advantages as leverage to become the exclusive or main MIM part supplier. The new headphones will be priced higher than AirPods and should help boost the business momentum of Primax as the assembly provider.

Beats Studio3 Wireless and current AirPods

Kuo’s prediction on upgraded AirPods follows a similar report just a few days ago from Bloomberg. Kuo says the new AirPods should launch in the second half of this year.

We think the main difference of the upgraded AirPods, which won’t look much different from current AirPods, will be the wireless charging case and the adoption of an upgraded W1 chip. We believe that the charging case will adopt different processes for the external appearance and to meet thermal requirements from wireless charging, the hinge price will rise 60-80%.

Beyond this year’s update for the AirPods, Bloomberg claimed this week that Apple is working on a subsequent AirPods update that would bring water resistance to the earphones, but that model wouldn’t arrive until 2019 at the earliest.

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Claimed ‘iPhone X Plus’ Displays and Digitizers Shown in Leaked Photos

New photos claimed to be of the rumored 6.5-inch “iPhone X Plus” screen and digitizer have been shared on the MacX forums [Google Translate], with the poster claiming the parts come from a “trial run of production equipment” at LG’s facilities in Vietnam.

The first photo shows a single digitizer held in a person’s hand, and the overall size certainly appears larger than an iPhone X part, while the relative size of the notch to the digitizer’s width is slightly different than on the iPhone X. At least one rumor has, however, claimed the second-generation iPhone X could have a smaller notch, so we shouldn’t necessarily expect the notch-to-display proportions to be the same between iPhone X generations.


The digitizer includes a flex cable at the bottom of the part for connecting to the iPhone’s logic board, and the part number printed on the cable is similar to the format typically used by Apple.

An apparent date code also shown on the flex cable points to a production date in the 46th week of 2017, which would correspond to mid-November, so this isn’t a particularly recent part although there could be substantial lag between digitizer production and the part’s incorporation into a full display assembly.

The second photo shows a tray containing a set of four assembled display/digitizer components. Again, the size appears larger than the corresponding iPhone X part based on the relative size of the small earpiece slot visible on one of the parts. The rear design of the part is also very similar but not identical to the iPhone X display assembly.


Samsung is the exclusive supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone X, but previous rumors have indicated LG could become the supplier for the so-called iPhone X Plus this year, so the purported location of these photos at LG’s plant in Vietnam fits with those rumors. Apple has reportedly invested billions of dollars to help LG get its OLED display production up and running to increase overall supplies and give Apple more flexibility in not needing to rely solely on Samsung.


Apple is rumored to be launching three new iPhones around the usual September timeframe this year: a second-generation iPhone X with the same 5.8-inch OLED display size, a larger “iPhone X Plus” with a 6.5-inch OLED display, and a new LCD-based model with a similar full-face display to the iPhone X design but measuring about 6.1 inches.

(Thanks, Siting!)

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones

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iTunes Store Won’t Work on Original Apple TV and Windows XP/Vista PCs as of May 25

Apple yesterday published a new support document noting that security changes being implemented on May 25 will prevent the first-generation Apple TV and PCs running Windows XP or Vista from using the iTunes Store. Apple has also begun emailing users with active first-generation Apple TVs to warn them of the upcoming change.

Beginning on 2018-05-25, Apple will introduce security changes that prevent Apple TV (1st generation) from using the iTunes Store. This device is an obsolete Apple product and will not be updated to support these security changes.

Apple notes that second-generation and later Apple TV models will continue to work with the iTunes Store.

The first-generation Apple TV based on a traditional hard drive was introduced back in 2007 and was supplanted by the much smaller flash-based second-generation model in late 2010. The first-generation model was officially declared obsolete by Apple in late 2015.

As for PC users, Apple notes that machines running Windows XP or Vista are no longer supported by Microsoft and are unable to use the latest versions of iTunes, as iTunes 12 requires Windows 7 or later. With the upcoming changes, users running these older versions of Windows and iTunes won’t be able to make new purchases or redownload previous purchases from the iTunes Store.

(Thanks, Greg!)

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Apple Shares Behind the Scenes Look at How the Portrait Lighting Feature Was Created

Apple this evening uploaded a new “Portrait Lighting” video to its YouTube channel, which is designed to give a behind the scenes look at how the Portrait Lighting effects on the iPhone X were created.

Take a look behind the iPhone X and discover the process we went through to create Portrait Lighting. Combining timeless lighting principles with advanced machine learning, we created an iPhone that takes studio-quality portraits without the studio.

In the video, Apple explains that it worked with global image makers and some of the world’s best photographers to combine timeless lighting principles with machine learning techniques.

The result was the Portrait Lighting feature available in Portrait Mode on the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus. On iPhone X, Portrait Lighting is available for both the front and rear facing cameras thanks to the TrueDepth camera system, while on iPhone 8 Plus, it’s available for shots captured with the rear camera.

Apple’s Portrait Lighting feature is designed to use sophisticated algorithms to calculate how your facial features interact with light, creating unique lighting effects.

There are several Portrait mode lighting presets, including Natural Light, Studio Light (lights up your face), Contour Light (adds dramatic shadows), Stage Light (spotlights your face against a dark background), and Stage Light Mono (Stage Light, but in black and white).

Apple has also highlighted Portrait Lighting in several past video ads showing off iPhone X features.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Happy Birthday to Steve Jobs and MacRumors

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple and was responsible for catapulting the company to wild success with products like the iPod and the iPhone, was born on February 24, 1955, and were he still alive, today would mark his 63rd birthday.

Jobs not only founded Apple alongside Steve Wozniak in 1976 and directed the future of technology with the development of some of the first personal computers, but he also brought Apple back from the brink of failure even after being ousted from the company he created.


Though he passed away in October of 2011 when he was just 56, Steve Jobs had a lasting impact on Apple’s culture. As current Apple CEO Tim Cook often says, Steve Jobs’ DNA — his taste, his thinking, his unwavering perfectionism, his dedication to hard work, and his lust for innovation — will “always be the foundation of Apple.”

Cook always honors Steve Jobs on his birthday, and will undoubtedly have some thoughts to share with us later today.

There are no Apple products — and few technology products — on the market that have not been influenced by Steve Jobs in some way, however small, and had we not had Jobs, the world might be a different place today. Millions of lives have been touched by Apple devices, including the lives of each one of us here at MacRumors and all of the readers who visit the site every day to see what’s new in the world of Apple.

MacRumors shares a birthday with Steve Jobs, and as of today, the site is turning 18. MacRumors was founded on February 24, 2000 by Arnold Kim, and what started out as a small side project has flourished and grown right alongside Apple into the best Apple news site on the web.

We here at MacRumors are grateful to all of our dedicated readers, community members, and volunteers, and we look forward bringing you Apple news and rumors for the next 18 years.

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