According to Taiwanese industry publication Digitimes
who is citing “sources in the upstream supply chain,” Apple is going to “completely overhaul” several product lineups in 2012. To be more specific, the iMac, iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air lines. The report claims that the iPad upgrade will be coming early in 2012, while the next-generation iPhone, iMac, and MacBook Air lines are expected to be released in the second half of next year. As of right now, it isn’t clear whether this is an all-inclusive list or not. Furthermore, absent from the list are the MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and the iPod product lines.
Regarding the iMac design, there haven’t been too many changes over the past few years so we don’t know what to expect. The report mentioned that the line was to see an overhaul but nothing else seemed to be mentioned.
When it comes to the iPad, sources mentioned that Apple will be finalizing “order volumes and key parts and components” for the device in December, while manufacturers produce as many as two million units by the end of the year. Rumor has it that two prototypes were submitted to suppliers, code-named J1 and J2, with different LED and flat panel requirements. This seems to align with the previous information regarding the next-generation iPad display
. Another report from Digitimes
is suggesting that Apple will release an iPad in March of 2012, but this device won’t be significantly different. The real next-gen iPad is said to arrive sometime in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest, according to the supply chain sources. Could it possibly be a mini iPad? (Seems like a logical step for Apple to take)
As far as the iPhone goes, it has been widely expected that the next-gen iPhone will likely get a full redesign. Many rumors were floating before Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone
” event this year regarding a tapered iPhone 5 case design
(amongst other rumors), all of which didn’t come to fruition with the iPhone 4S, which shares the same design as the previous generation iPhone 4. Based on Apple’s release pattern, however, it seems certain that the iPhone set to release in 2012 will receive a new external design amongst other improved features.
One of the products that is widely expected to see an overhaul the next year is the MacBook pro. Apple recently updated its high-end notebook lineup
just last week, while it continues to wait for Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors (said to arrive in the first half of 2012). A significant redesign is rumored with the inclusion of a number of MacBook Air features such as instant-on, standard SSD drives, slimmer enclosures, and the omission of optical drives. The company was recently rumored to be testing an ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook
that seems to be be filling in the role of a next-gen MacBook Pro already as well.
It's important to note that although Digitimes
has “well-placed sources in Apple’s supply chain,” it has been largely inconsistent with its predictions. The reports should all be taken with a grain of salt as only time will reveal the truth. What do you think Apple will do? Share any thoughts and comments below!