Apple will be making some substantial changes to their hardware line-up in 2013, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. The analyst, who has in the past demonstrated advanced knowledge of unreleased Apple products has released a roadmap for Apple product launches in 2013 and there’s some really interesting items on it which may or may not be accurate (via MacRumors).
The analyst predicts that the iPhone 5S will appear in the third quarter of the year alongside a revised design of the iPhone 5. The new iPhone 5S will apparently sport an A7 processor, as well as an improved camera and flash and will come in two colors (presumably black and white), with a predicted cost of between $600-$700. In addition, the existing iPhone 5 design will be modified to come in eight colors of plastic, but with an A6 processor, similar camera and a cheaper retail price of between $350-$450. This is consistent with previous reports suggesting that a less expensive iPhone would be released in multiple colors, although the plastic case is an interesting proposition.
The analyst also suggests that the existing MacBook Pro will be discontinued and that Apple will focus on selling the Retina Display MacBook Pro with a slightly tweaked design, although no details are offered. The new models would apparently be launching in the third quarter. No details are offered on a new MacBook Air, predicted to launch at the end of the second quarter, other than the statement that it would not have a Retina Display. However, alongside the MacBook Pro, the Air would be upgraded to the latest Intel Haswell processors.
A similar story is proposed for the iMac and Mac mini, predicted to launch in the fourth quarter with upgraded Intel processors, but an upgrade to the aging Mac Pro is given no mention. Interestingly, the analyst points towards a new iPod touch with 8GB flash storage (minus the rear camera) coming in at a price point of $199. This seems unlikely given the popularity of camera usage in the iPhone and iPod touch.
The analyst also points towards a third quarter launch of the iPad 5 and a second generation iPad mini. The iPad mini 2 will apparently incorporate a Retina Display and will offer design hints for a new thinner iPad 5. Finally, the Apple TV may receive a small upgrade early in the year, but an Apple television set wouldn’t arrive until 2014.
The analyst has had some remarkable accuracy with predictions in the past, so it’s perhaps worth listening to this one.