Pretty accurate KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a brand new note to clients. In it, he confirmed an earlier report calling for a March release date of the Apple Watch (remember, Apple’s retail boss mentioned a vague Spring release date).
In the note, a copy of which was obtained last evening by MacRumors, Kuo also claims that a rumored MacBook Air refresh with a twelve-inch Retina display and a radically redesigned chassis will go on sale during the first quarter of this year.
Due to low yields of several key components, the revered analyst is predicting constrained launch supply and is shooting for 2.8 million Watch shipments during the first quarter.
The baseline Watch model will start at $349, Apple said. Specifics like the pricing of other Watch editions, details on battery life and the start of pre-orders should be revealed in due date, Kuo notes.
A recent report by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman claimed Apple was aiming for two and a half hours of “heavy” gameplay or app use, three and a half hours of standard app use and four hours of fitness tracking.
Kuo is also predicting a first quarter launch of Apple’s rumored twelve-inch MacBook Air notebook.
That device is believed to include a Retina screen and sport an ultra-thinner and lighter appearance, a one-port design based on a single reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port that may be also used for charging and fanless performance owing to Intel’s latest low-power Broadwell chips.
Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes said earlier in the week that Apple supplier Quanta Computer was ramping up production of the new Air for a release sometime in the first quarter.
Last but not least, Kuo wrote he expected iPhone shipments would beat expectations for the first quarter of 2015 with over 61 million units shipped.
As for iPad shipments, he thinks Apple will report moving a total of ten million units when it announces Q1 2015 earnings on Tuesday.
Speaking of new products, I’m glad that both the Watch and the new Air will be launching in March. When you think of it, such turn of events would be beneficial to Apple on many levels.
Last year, if you remember, shareholders and fans had to endure nine full months without a new hardware product.
MacBook Air rendering courtesy of 3D artist Martin Hajek.