With all of the bad publicity Apple’s been getting lately, and its stock down 30%, the company could sure use some fresh new products. And according to a new report, it has a number of them in the pipeline for 2013.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who actually has a pretty good track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, has just issued a new report outlining what he thinks the company has planned for the year…
According to Kuo (via MacRumors), Apple will introduce both an iPhone 5S and a revamped iPhone 5 around June or July of this year. The 5S, he says, will greatly resemble the current model, and feature several performance upgrades like an A7 processor, a fingerprint sensor, and camera improvements. And as for the revamped iPhone 5, he believes this is likely Apple’s rumored budget handset, with a slightly thicker case and 6 different color options.
The analyst’s predictions for the 5S mostly line up with other reports. The June/July timeframe is becoming pretty popular, and looking at 3GS and 4S releases, I’d say it’s a safe bet that a 5S would resemble the 5. The fingerprint sensor feature sounds off to me, but then again Apple did just acquire AuthenTec, so I guess it could be possible. And I’m not sure what to think about the budget iPhone just yet, but it definitely seems like Apple is working on one.
As for Apple’s tablet line, Kuo thinks that Apple will update both the 9.7 inch iPad and the mini this year. The mini, he says, will finally receive the Retina display that everyone’s been clamoring for. And the full-sized iPad will get a slight redesign with a noticeably slimmer profile, lighter heft and thinner side bezels courtesy of its smaller sibling. Interestingly enough, he believes both products will turn up at the same time as the new iPhones in Q3 of this year.
There’s nothing too crazy here. We’ve heard several reports now that Apple is working on putting a higher resolution display into the next-gen iPad mini. And the slimmer, lighter full-sized iPad also jibes with previous chatter. The timeframe, however, doesn’t, as we’ve been hearing that Apple is looking to refresh both tablets in March.
The other stuff
For Apple’s other products, Kuo predicts that Apple will do away with the non-Retina Macbook Pro and lower its price points. Unfortunately, due to production challenges, he doesn’t see the Air nor the iMac receiving Retina updates this year. Looking at the iPod touch, the analyst expects Apple to drop the 4th-gen model in favor of a scaled-back 5th-gen one. And as for the Apple TV, he says that we’ll only see a minor update to the set-top box, with a bigger TV product coming in 2014.
Again, Kuo offers some pretty tame predictions. I too don’t see how Apple could give the Air or the iMac a Retina display at this point and still keep their costs down. And given the size of the 5th-gen iPod touch update, I’m also not expecting anything major this time around. His thoughts on the Apple TV are interesting though, as other analysts seem to think Apple is poised to do something bigger in the TV space this year. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it will.
Overall, nothing major here — which is a shame. But Apple may feel that it can get it done this year with a bunch of incremental product refreshes. Keep in mind, however, that these are just one man’s predictions. And even if they hold true, the fact that Apple is making moves like changing up its iPhone releases and working on an all-new, low-cost model of the handset is still enough to keep things interesting.
What do you think about Kuo’s predictions? Are they spotty, or spot-on?