Apple in 2012

by Da'Von B.

First and foremost this is simply a guessing game, similar to analysts only I won’t cover up my guesses with the non-existent “people familiar with matters” or “supply chain sources”. Many sites that practice in the Schadenfreude(ian) method of suggesting the many ways Apple will fall are senseless let’s be honest, their headlines are essentially link-bait with no conclusive body of text that suggests coherent thought went into the article, only random spewings, hopefully this will dispel the nonsense. This is simply a guess of what Apple may or may not do in 2012 with a new leader at the helm, and what will likely be an interesting year for the company. So first things first;

iPhone

The rumor mill is slowly churning on what the iPhone 5 may or may not have or in the words of people who have consistently been wrong “will and will not have”. Everything has been mentioned from a larger screen, to a thinner bezel, and total overhaul in the design department, but I’ll skip all of that and just say I believe in Jony Ive. What people have been missing is the new availability of a free iPhone on three of the four major networks in Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T. The only way to obtain a free iPhone (with a 2-year contract of course because one way or another the carriers will get you) is currently through AT&T and that’s the 8GB iPhone 3Gs (a 2-year-old model mind you that still allows users to utilize features of iOS 5). Now with the impending Summer/Fall 2012 release of the iPhone 5, here’s my guess of what the product lineup and costs will look like:

  • iPhone 5 – 16/32/64GB – $199/299/399 – Sprint/Verizon/AT&T
  • iPhone 4s – 8GB – $99 – Sprint/Verizon/AT&T
  • iPhone 4 – 8GB – FREE (w/ 2 year agreement) – Sprint/Verizon/AT&T

This isn’t too far-fetched when you look at the line-up today and with Tim Cook being the supply chain guru that he is, I expect for the 2012 iPhone line-up to mirror this exactly. Again I’m leaving out guesses of what the phone may look like because more than likely Jony Ive and his design team have a beauty in the blacked out bunker on 1 Infinite Loop.

iPad

This is an interesting one, because again as I’ve mentioned Tim Cook is a supply chain guru, why discontinue the production of the iPad 2 when you have component costs and distribution locked down? I’m guessing that the iPad line-up will mirror that of the iPhone for 2012. There are a plethora of rumors that’s suggesting Apple will make a 7″ iPad (mini/nano/whatever) to compete against Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, personally I doubt it, what may happen:

  • iPad 3 (if that’s what it’ll be called) – 32/64/128?GB – $499/599/699 WiFi only
  • iPad 3 LTE – 32/64/128GB – $549/649/749
  • iPad 2 – 16GB – $399
  • iPad 2 3G – 16GB – $459

What Apple may end up doing is simply reduce the price of the iPad 2 and keep it in production as an entry-level model. The design of the iPad 3 may be similar or the same or drastically different no-one but certain teams at Apple know this.

MacBook Pros/Airs

Up in the air with this one (promise no pun intended), Apple is obviously transitioning over to the MacBook Air design, and this makes a lot of sense (seriously I don’t think too many people would miss an optical drive, plus you can always grab an external model not made by Apple). I’m guessing that the MacBook Pros will get an overhaul in design, thinner, stronger screen (rumors suggesting a retina display…we’ll see), and stronger battery. As for the MacBook Airs, things become interesting as again rumors have suggested Apple has had a 15″ Air floating around the campus and the design continues to be something looked at for potential release providing two families of the portable computers a thin MacBook Pro likely to be the thinnest consumer laptop with an optical drive in 13, 15, and 17″ sizes along with the MacBook Air family consisting of the 11, 13, and 15″ variety. This is more probable than it is possible for the 2012 MacBook families.

iMac

No clue, and I’m being honest, people would suggest or claim that the iMac design is tiring and needs to be changed but it’s still the most elegant desktop available in the market. If anything Apple may add some slight design cues to the iMac increasing the bezel and possibly adding the rumored retina display that the MacBook family may see. Other than that the iMac is still a beautiful machine that actually continues to sale exceptionally well.

Mac Pro

The thing hasn’t been redesigned since sometime around 2006 or 2007. It’s a beast of a machine, but lately Apple has increased the horsepower in the iMac line-up. What may happen is Apple will reduce the size of the towering Pro and continue to keep it within its line-up for power users. It’ll likely add thunderbolt ports along with an array of USB 3.0 and the newest Intel server chips. The Mac Pro will essentially become a Pro server similar to the Mac Mini server that’s available now, just a bit more juiced up.

iPod

Siri-ously the only thing that comes to mind for the iPod Touch maybe a larger screen that would equal the size of the iPhone 5 (if it indeed has a larger screen). But more than likely the new 5th generation Touch will add the A5 or A6 chip along with a more functional and out of beta Siri, along with some improved cameras. The iPod Nano…honestly no clue, Apple may allow users to add apps but the screen is so small I doubt it, I can’t foretell what Apple would do to the device but not much change is really needed (though they could add Bluetooth 4.0). The iPod Shuffle…really…what drastic changes could take place? iPod Classic…no comment.

Apple TV/HDTV

I really don’t want to comment on this, but from Steve Jobs comments about how he cracked the television in his autobiography, to the abundantly mundane rumors that are sprouting up from a site that has the most inconsistent track record related to Apple that tech blogs/sites are actually quoting is a little hard to turn down. I’ll say this, it’ll be gorgeous, it’ll be interesting, and unless there’s a content strategy that will disrupt the cable tv landscape, it’ll never see the light of day. Apple is a company that has success in disrupting the status quo they’re not a company that caters to other companies. All in all I expect iOS 6 to add the ability to load apps into the set-top box of the Apple TV, and if indeed an actual television set is available from Apple…well I’m anxious to see what they pull off.

iOS 6

No clue, hopefully careful and detailed innovation is going into the next iteration of iOS, and I have to admit to hoping there’s some overhaul to the overall UI that remains consistent and clean but moves forward and doesn’t remain stagnant.

Mac OS X 10.8

Seriously this is up in the air, maybe there’ll be some hybrid iOS 6 implemented with Mac OS X Super Lion or whatever it’s called. Rest assured iCloud will likely have significant impact on the combining of the two OS’s.

So that’s my in-depth look into what Apple may have up their sleeve for 2012, it’ll be an interesting year to say the least, and there may be other products Apple has on their campus that are in the final testing stages before their major release. Again no-one but those on the senior management team of Apple knows what’s in store for them in 2012, but the excitement and wonder is definitely there…stay tuned.

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