Top Ten Predictions for the iPhone 8: KGI

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — often cited for his insider knowledge on Apple’s movements — recently published a new investor note laying out his top ten predictions for the iPhone 8. Here they are.

All three new iPhone models are coming in the second half of 2017: a brand-new-design iPhone with an OLED panel (iPhone 8) and two iPhones with LCD screens that represent upgrades over current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

Second, the phone will have the highest screen-to-body ratio of any smartphone currently available globally. It’s all thanks to a new ‘notch-display’ referring to the peculiar cut-out at the top.

Third, “OLED iPhone will support 3D sensing for facial recognition & improved selfie quality,” reads Kuo’s predictions.

Number four predicts that the iPhone 8 will feature a brand new virtual Home button. Unfortunately, the button will not support fingerprint recognition. There will allegedly be no fingerprint recognition at all on that iPhone model:

We predict the OLED model (iPhone 8) won’t support fingerprint recognition, reasons being: (1) the full-screen design doesn’t work with existing capacitive fingerprint recognition, and (2) the scan-through ability of the under-display fingerprint solution still has technical challenges, including: (i) requirement for a more complex panel pixel design; (ii) disappointing scan-through of OLED panel despite it being thinner than LCD panel; and (iii) weakened scan-through performance due to overlayered panel module. As the new OLED iPhone won’t support under-display fingerprint recognition, we now do not expect production ramp-up will be delayed again (we previously projected the ramp-up would be postponed to late October or later).

Five says that he iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s Plus will both come with 3GB of RAM, the iPhone 7s will feature 2GB of RAM and still have single camera. The presence of 3GB of RAM in the first two models might be related to requirements by the dual camera system.

Kuo’s sixth prediction says that all three new models will come in the following storage options: 64GB and 256GB.

Number seven predicts that the Lighting port is going to stay, as all three new models will come with a Lightning port. They will support the USB-C power delivery IC standard as well.

The iPhone 8 will have fewer colors in order to achieve “boutique” model appeal, reads Kuo’s eighth prediction.

Kuo’s ninth prediction says that while all new iPhone models will be announced at Apple’s event in September, the iPhone 8 is likely to go on sale at a later point with limited availability.

“For optimized promotional effect, we think Apple may unveil the three models simultaneously in September, though the launch date of the OLED version may trail that of LCD models, and supply tightness may not improve before 1H18,” reads the report.

Finally, Kuo’s final prediction says that 80 million to 85 million of the new iPhones will be shipped in fiscal 2017, with an even split between iPhone 8 and the other two models.