KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple will introduce new models across the entire MacBook lineup at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Previously he has stated he didn’t expect Apple to continue offering non-Retina display machines, but has changed that outlook.
Kuo expects all the new models to be bumped up to Haswell processors, expected to give a modest performance bump in the 7-13 percent range, with likely a much better boost to battery-life, though we don’t expect this to be anywhere close to the 24-hour life theoretically achievable …
Kuo is sticking to his earlier prediction of no Retina display version of the MacBook Air, saying Apple cannot as yet achieve a Retina version at the MacBook Pro’s price point and size.
Kuo also suggests a new lower-cost iPad Mini priced in the $199 to $249 range, which would allow Apple to compete against the numerous cheaper Android tablets.
“Prior to iPad mini 2 launch, Apple might roll out a more affordable iPad mini to compete with Android products. To cut costs, Apple might push for lower component prices, use a more advanced process to produce the A5 processor, simplify metal casing production, remove the rear camera, cut storage to 8GB and find more component suppliers to lower costs. We think this cheaper iPad mini retail for US$199~249.”
AppleInsider reports that Kuo is also saying screen yield issues will prevent Apple fro producing a Retina display iPad mini any time before October.
Kuo says that he doesn’t believe an “iPad mini 2″ would go into mass production before October. Apparent production issues associated with packing enough pixels into the device’s 7.9-inch display to qualify it as a “Retina” screen are cited.
“We think Apple will stay competitive in the tablet market over the long term as it releases new and exciting products,” he said. “But with product launches pushed back and competition getting fiercer, Apple and the iPad supply chain will have to wait until (the fourth quarter of calendar 2013) for significant growth.”