Apple is reportedly planning a major design revamp for several of its devices next year, according to Digitimes. The site is suggesting that the iPad, the iMac, the iPhone and the MacBook Air will receive major refreshes next year that will include an design overhaul of some key components.
While you may scoff at the vagueness and untangible nature of this rumor (indeed), we are printing it for discussion, since Digitimes has had a limited amount of success with predictions in the past. Should the company actually be planning this, it’s interesting to speculate on how they would actually implement the changes.
A redesigned iPhone is almost a given, especially with the launch of the identical iPhone 4S as a successor to the iPhone 4. Many analysts expected a complete redesign of the iPhone this time around so it would be no surprise to see it in 2012.
This also holds true for the iPad, which has been rumored to be receiving a major display upgrade, although it’s unclear how many changes Apple would make to the shape, size and weight of the device. Unless some major advances have been made with battery technology, it would be difficult to see the company making the device 33% thinner yet again.
Regarding the MacBook Air, the report may be referring to the launch of a 15 inch version of the device which has recently been rumored to be entering production phase. Again, it would be interesting to see how Apple would redesign the Air, but given the novelty of the existing design, it’s unlikely that an entirely new design would hit the market in early 2012.
The iMac is perhaps the most intriguing device upon which to speculate. The existing iMac design has been around for a while now, and Apple may be looking to tweak it by either removing the optical drive or by designing it as a replacement for the Mac Pro. The future of the Mac Pro has apparently been discussed at some length inside the company and the iMac is the likely successor to the Pro in terms of the market that the Pro occupies.
Of course, the report is perhaps stating what is already known. Apple will refresh some of its products in 2012. Surprise.