As mentioned in a previous post
, 2013 is said to be a vital year for Apple. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities recently made his Apple hardware predictions for the upcoming year, showing expectations for a slew of new iOS and Mac releases that will supposedly help Apple gain a larger share of the market.
According to Kuo, who has been successful with his Apple predictions in the past, the company will be introducing a number of new iOS devices in 2013, including an inexpensive iPhone 5, an upgraded iPhone 5S, a new iPad mini sporting a Retina display, and a redesigned fifth-generation iPad, among others. He also believes that Apple will be retiring the non-Retina MacBook Pro lineup and replace it with an all-Retina lineup that is offered at a lower price.
One of the things that Kuo was quick to note was that none of the product forecasts are expected in the first quarter of 2013. He believes that “many” will be introduced in the second half of the year instead. According to the analyst, Apple will be releasing both an iPhone 5S with updated specs as well as an inexpensive version of the current iPhone 5 design with a thicker plastic chassis available in six colors. The iPhone 5S is said to be launching sometime in June or July with a similar aesthetic look as the current model, but with a built-in fingerprint sensor, improved camera and a more powerful A7 SoC. The slightly revamped “new design” iPhone 5 is expected to go on sale as a less-expensive alternative to Apple’s flagship handset at around the same time with a more affordable price tag attributed to the plastic exterior.
A fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad is said to launch with a lighter frame and a more refined look, borrowing the narrow bezels that are seen on the iPad mini. Meanwhile the smaller tablet will move to the next generation by sporting a Retina display that will have the same 2,048 by 1,536 pixel screen resolution as the existing full-size iPad. App makers won’t have to make software changes to fit a new native format if Apple keeps the same resolution, which is a win-win situation for everyone. This was the same logic the Cupertino California company used when they released the iPad mini with a resolution identical to that of the iPad 2.
As far as Apple’s MacBook lineup, Kuo feels that non-Retina MacBook Pros won’t be around much longer as the lineup is said to be replaced with an all-Retina lineup that also gets rid of optical drives. Pricing should be reduced as well to help move units out faster. As of right now, the MacBook Air won’t be seeing much change aside from minor spec updates as sizing down the high-resolution display to fit the specs similar to the Air is too steep a challenge as of right now. Since the Air won’t see a significant design change, the tweaked models are expected to arrive earlier in the year with the all-Retina MacBook Pro lineup being released in the third quarter.
The last two products in Apple’s pipeline are the iPod product line and the Apple TV, which is considered as a “hobby.” Kuo believes that Apple will likely introduce a cheaper variant of the current fifth-generation iPod Touch without a camera and less built-in memory to reach a target price of $199. Regarding the Apple TV, Kuo feels that the company won’t be introducing a full-fledged television set in the next 12-months. Instead, the existing media streamer is likely to morph into a serious business, with the possibility of a full-fledged HDTV in 2014, as Apple continues to build infrastructure to support such a device with iTunes, the App Store and iCloud services. He feels the company lacks experience in the industry and instead of rushing into things, the much-rumored “iTV” is seen as a source of growth in the upcoming years.
All of Kuo’s predictions make sense and seem pretty spot-on but only time will tell. Do you agree with his predictions? Share your thoughts and opinions below!
Source: KGI Securities