2022 at earliest, top analyst says

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends a meeting of the U.S. Labor Policy Advisory Council with U.S. President Donald Trump and others at the White House in Washington, March 6, 2019.

Leah Millis | Reuters

Apple could launch new iPads in the coming year and a pair of computerized Apple glasses in 2022 “at the earliest,” TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Thursday in a new note.

Apple is preparing an “affordable” 10.8-inch iPad that could be launched in the second half of 2020 and a new small iPad between 8.5 and 9 inches for the first half of next year, the analyst said.

Predictions by famed Apple supply chain analyst suggest that Apple still has several products in its pipeline for a short-term launch despite disruptions to Covid-19 for the electronics industry. The planned date for Apple’s long-rumored eyewear project suggests that a launch for the new product category is not imminent.

“We expect Apple to launch the new 10.8-inch iPad and 8.5 to 9-inch iPad mini models at 2:20 and 1:21 respectively,” Kuo writes in the note.

“The two new iPad models will follow the product strategy of the iPhone SE, and the selling points will be affordability and the adoption of fast chips,” he said.

Apple released a new version of the iPhone SE this spring. It’s the company’s cheapest new phone, starting at $ 399, but it contains Apple’s fastest mobile chip. Apple is currently selling an entry-level iPad with a 10.2-inch screen for $ 329. Kuo estimates that low-priced models account for between 60% and 70% of iPad shipments.

Apple is working on virtual and augmented reality as a new category of potential products. Kuo believes Apple’s glasses are years away and will use an expensive laminated lens to display digital content overlaid on the real world.

“The cost of laminating Apple glasses will be high because the lens requires multilayer layering to create an innovative MR / AR user experience,” wrote Kuo.

Kuo’s analysis typically focuses on companies that sell parts and assembly services to Apple, and he has successfully predicted Apple products not launched in the past.

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