KGI: Larger-Sized iPhones Coming This Year Will Offset Weakening Demand for iPhone X in China

Weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone X in China has led market analysts to revise down shipments for the first half of 2018, but larger-sized iPhone models in the pipeline should see Apple grow its overall worldwide shipments year-on-year, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who shared the information in a new research report obtained by MacRumors.

We revise down 1Q18 and 2Q18 shipments of iPhone X to 18mn units and 13mn units, respectively, lower than market consensus of 20-30mn and 15-20mn units. We expect iPhone X will go to end of life (EOL) around mid-2018 and that total life cycle shipments will be around 62mn units, lower than our previous forecast of 80mn units.

Two main reasons are given for the weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone X in China. First, in Q4 2017, consumers were willing to wait on average 10 months longer before replacing their existing phones, compared to shorter replacement cycles in the year-ago quarter. In Q4 2016, smartphone users upgraded after between 14 and 16 months of ownership, compared to between 24 and 26 months in Q4 2017. The numbers are said to be reflected in lower shipment forecasts by Chinese phone makers for the second half of last year.

The second big factor is said to be Chinese consumers’ penchant for larger displays. According to Kuo, the notched design on the iPhone X isn’t yet compatible with many popular Chinese apps, leading many customers to see it as offering less usable screen space than 5.5-inch iPhone Plus models. This confusion, coupled with the high price of iPhone X, is thought to have undercut replacement demand.

Despite the downward revisions in shipments for the first half of this year – and Kuo’s moot point that Apple might end iPhone X sales in the summer – Kuo believes overall iPhone shipments will maintain year-on-year growth of 0-5 percent over the first half of 2018, mainly thanks to Apple’s corrected supply chain share. However, Kuo thinks Apple’s next product line-up will significantly improve competitiveness in the second half of the year, when Apple’s “real super cycle” will kick in.

Kuo has previously predicted Apple will introduce three iPhones in 2018: an OLED model that measures in at 5.8 inches like the current iPhone X, an OLED model that measures in at 6.5 inches that will serve as a sort of “iPhone X Plus,” and a 6.1-inch model that features an LCD display. Kuo believes all three models will be equipped with a full-screen notched design and TrueDepth camera system like the iPhone X.

We believe the addition of 6.5-inch OLED and 6.1-inch LCD iPhone models will boost Apple’s market share in China, and that the US$650-750 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will make it easier for users worldwide to own a 3D sensing and full-screen design iPhone which offers an innovative user experience.

For these reasons, Kuo believes iPhone shipments will grow 5-10 percent year on year over 2018. Kuo’s estimate is better than the market consensus of overall smartphone shipment growth worldwide, which is expected to experience between a 5 percent decline and 5 percent growth. As a result, KGI retains a positive outlook for the iPhone supply chain in the second half of 2018.

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

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Facebook Doubling Down on Stories Format By Testing Ability to Post From Desktop

Facebook is testing a feature that will let users post stories on Mac and PC, in an effort to further make the ephemeral sharing feature stick on the platform. Once the test rolls out wide, Facebook users will be able to click an “Upload Photo” button to share pictures and videos to their story, or “Open Camera” to record a story with a webcam.

Images via TechCrunch

The test also includes “much more prominent placement” for stories on desktop, where they will now sit on top of the News Feed — similar to their location on the iOS app — instead of in the sidebar. TechCrunch reported that all of this amounts to a new effort in “doubling down” on the stories format, despite the fact that most users have responded critically to the addition, and its poor performance last year caused the company to slightly tweak the app’s user interface in an attempt to boost usage.

While some normal users might remain hesitant to use stories, it’s believed Facebook’s introduction of stories onto its desktop website could lead to “brands, event promoters, and group admins” embracing the format more. For users that visit Facebook daily on the web, the company said that the site will remain easy to navigate.

“We are always working to ensure people can easily navigate and enjoy Facebook, regardless of how they connect,” a Facebook spokesperson tells me. “We are testing the option to create and share Stories from Facebook on desktop and are also testing moving the Stories tray from the top right corner to above News Feed, just like on mobile.” Previously you could only consume Stories on web that had to be created on mobile. For now, a small percentage of users will see this new posting ability and design.

Facebook’s push for stories is also centered around the company’s preparation to launch more augmented reality features in the future. With stories launching on the web, Facebook’s 24-hour post sharing format will now be able to sync across its iOS and Android apps, desktop site, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, making it easier for users to share one story on multiple platforms.

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Apple Seeds Seventh Beta of iOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the seventh beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers, just a few days after seeding the sixth beta and more than a week after releasing iOS 11.2.2, an update designed to mitigate a serious hardware-based vulnerability called “Spectre.”

Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple’s Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


Early iOS 11.2.5 betas introduced a new feature letting Siri play daily news podcasts from MPR, Fox News, CNN, or The Washington Post when queried about the current news, but the feature was officially released in iOS 11.2.2 ahead of the iOS 11.2.5 update.

iOS 11.2.5 appears to address a bug that allowed a malicious link to freeze the Messages app on iOS devices. As of the sixth beta, the link in question no longer affects the Messages app.

It’s not clear what other new features, if any, will be introduced in the iOS 11.2.5. We didn’t discover other noticeable outward-facing changes in the first six iOS 11.2.5 betas, so it’s possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements aside from the Siri news update.

If that’s the case, we may not know the extent of what’s in the update until it sees a public release. Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced.

Today’s beta appears to be the final golden master version of iOS 11.2.5 that will be released to the public next week.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Tim Cook to Deliver 2018 Commencement Address at Duke University on May 13

Duke University today announced that Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the 2018 commencement address on May 13 in Wallace Wade Stadium on the university’s campus in Durham, North Carolina. Cook earned an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1988 and has served on the university’s Board of Trustees since 2015.

“I am absolutely delighted that Tim Cook will be returning to campus as this spring’s commencement speaker,” said [Duke President Vincent E.] Price. “Throughout his career, Tim has embodied Duke’s values of innovation and service to society, whether through his contributions to Apple’s groundbreaking technology or his advocacy for social justice. I can imagine no better person, and no bigger Duke fan, to inspire the Class of 2018.”

As part of today’s announcement, Duke included a brief video revealing its commencement speaker selection using Animoji, with Cook making an appearance as the fox.

“From the first day I walked onto campus more than 30 years ago, Duke has been a source of inspiration and pride for me — both professionally and through the deep personal friendships that have endured to this day,” said Cook. “It’s my honor to be returning to salute the class of 2018 as they begin the next chapter of their lives as Duke graduates.”

In addition to this year’s upcoming appearance at Duke, Cook has delivered a number of other commencement addresses in recent years, including at his undergraduate alma mater Auburn University in 2010, at George Washington University in 2015, and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year.

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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 to Developers and Public Beta Testers [Updated]

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update to developers, just a few days after seeding the fifth beta and more than a month after releasing macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, the second major update to the macOS High Sierra operating system.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.


It’s not yet clear what improvements the macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update will bring, but it’s likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren’t addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

It does offer additional fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that were discovered and publicized in early January and fixed initially in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

The update also fixes a bug that allows the App Store menu in the System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.

The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update focused solely on security fixes and performance improvements, with no new features introduced, and a supplemental update introduced a fix for the Spectre vulnerability.

Update: Apple appears to have temporarily pulled the macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update, and it is no longer available for download from the developer site.

Update 2: The macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update is once again available to download.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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