If KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo – who is usually fairly reliable when it comes to predictions about Apple – is correct, Apple will release a metric buttload* of new products in the second half of 2014. He says products will include: the iWatch, larger iPhones, new iPads, an updated Apple TV, and upgraded MacBooks.
In a 2014 product roadmap, Kuo suggests Apple will introduce its first new product of the year, a lower-cost iMac, during the second quarter. Soon after, during the third quarter, Kuo predicts Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini, followed by an iWatch in two separate sizes, and a 4.7-inch iPhone.
Soon to follow will be an upgraded Apple TV set-top box, the much-rumored 12-inch MacBook, and upgraded Retina MacBook Pros. Somewhat later, in the fourth quarter, we’ll see a 5.5-inch iPhone, which is reportedly delayed due to issues with its display’s in-cell technology.
Kuo’s predictions include:
iMac: A lower-priced iMac could be Apple’s first new product launch of the year, says Kuo. He believes such a model could help boost iMac shipments by up to 23%.
iPhone 6: Kuo sees two sizes for Apple’s flagship device: 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches, with resolutions of 1334×750 (326 ppi) and 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi), respectively. An A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, LTPS display panels, optical image stabilization, and Touch ID round out the major features.
A 10 to 20% narrower bezel, metal casings, and NFC integration could also make a showing.
Kuo sees the 4.7-inch version debuting in September, with the 5.5-inch version shipping later in the year. Kuo also believes that only the 64GB 5.5-inch version of the new handset will use a sapphire display.
iWatch: Kuo sees the iWatch shipping in Q3, offering integration with iOS devices and the Mac, biometric functionality, and a ” fashionable appearance.” He see’s two sizes coming down the pike, with a 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED display. It will include a sapphire cover lens, (NATCH!), biometric recognition, NFC, wireless charging, and a slim design. Kuo sees multiple price points for the device, with a top-end model going for as much as $1,000(!)
Second-Generation iPad Air: Touch ID, and A8 processor, and an improved 8 megapixel camera are in the cards for the second-generation iPad Air, says Kuo. The iPad Air could be released earlier than the original Air was, which saw the light of day in October.
iPad mini with Retina Display: The Retina mini could also sport an A8 processor and Touch ID. He also suggests the older iPad mini with Retina display could hang around a a lower cost.
12.9-inch iPad Pro: While Kuo believes Apple has this in the works, he doesn’t see a 2014 release.
AppleTV: No full-blown television set this year, but Kuo sees an upgraded little black box that will include an App Store, and motion control technology among its new features.
12-inch Fanless MacBook Air: An ultrathin MacBook Air will include a touchpad without buttons, and no fan required for cooling. It will also include a higher-resolution display.
While Kuo’s “roadmap” include many rumors that others have floated in recent months, it does give us a chart to work from on what to expect from Apple this year. Perhaps we’ll print the roadmap out and hang it above our desk so we can judge him harshly if he turns out to be incorrect, or hoist him upon our shoulders if his accuracy is keen.
Personally, I see most of Kuo’s predictions as reasonable, excepting the $1,000 iWatch model. I just can’t feel that. I also don’t really see an “iPad Pro” materializing, but… What do you think? Share your thoughts on Kuo’s predictions for Apple’s 2014 releases in the comments section below.
*Metric buttload is a technical term.