KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an excellent batting average when it comes to predicting Apple’s product plans, has released a new research report. It outlines his expectations for Apple’s 2013 product releases.
Kuo believes that Apple will focus its launches on the third quarter of this year, with a number of updates throughout the company’s various product families.
Kuo sees Apple as introducing both an iPhone 5S and a revamped iPhone 5 around June or July of this year. The 5S will look similar to the 5, but will have a number of upgrades, such as a better performing A7 system-on-a-chip, a fingerprint sensor, and improvements to the camera, which could include an f2.0 aperture and a smart LED flash.
He says the lower cost iPhone 5 will be basically a repackaged iPhone 5 in a slightly thicker, plastic enclosure available in six colors.
iPad and iPad mini
Kuo forecasts updates for both lines during Q3, as the iPad mini will get a Retina Display, and the full-size model will become considerably lighter and thinner.
Kuo sees the non-Retina Display Pros saying goodbye, with Apple releasing an all Retina line of notebooks at lower prices than the current Retina lineup. Kuo also believes the design of the Retina MacBook Pros will be tweaked a bit.
Kuo predicts no Retina Display for the Air line, given their relative thickness. He sees a move to Intel’s upcoming Haswell platform, and says that will be the main upgrade for the lineup, coming as soon as late Q2.
Kuo doesn’t see the Retina Display making into the iMac family on 2013. He does say the iMac and the Mac mini will move to the Haswell platform in the fourth quarter.
Kuo’s report doesn’t mention a new Mac Pro, even though Apple CEO TIm Cook has been quoted as saying a significant update for the venerable machine was in the cards in 2013.
The 4th-generation touch will be discontinued, Kuo says, and in order to fill that gap, a scaled-back version of the 5th-gen model with 8GB of storage, and no rear camera will be sold at $199.
Kuo sees a minor update coming to Apple’s “hobby” as soon as late this quarter, but offers no details. He doesn’t see Apple’s actual television set appearing any time this year, citing content issues, and Apple’s lack of experience in the television market.