iOS 8 has arrived, the all-new Swift language has got developers from all over interested, but Apple is yet to release any major product this year. The second half of 2014 is expected to make up for this, with iPhone 6, iWatch and several other new/revamped products likely to make their debuts.
Like techies from all over the globe, we love new tools and gadgets launched by big companies. Apart from smartphones and tablets (after all, we are into mobile app development!), each of us regularly follow the buzz and rumors about soon-to-be-released computers, operating systems, smartwatches, and other similar stuff. So, what can be more worthy of a discussion than the line of products that Apple Inc. is likely to release in 2014? Let’s find out what to expect from Tim Cook and his team before the year is out:
- Macbook Air with Retina Display – If the reports in Digitimes are anything to go by, a new version of the Macbook Air is in the offing. It would have cutting-edge Retina Display features, and is likely to have much slimmer dimensions (probably, 12 inches) than that of the existing model. The design is rumored to be fanless, which would give a boost to the new Macbook Air’s longevity.
- iPhone 6 – Easily the most eagerly anticipated release from Apple this year. The new iPhone (which would be available in a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch phablet form) would hit the markets around September – and would delight Apple loyalists clamoring for handsets with larger display screens. From Touch ID and A8 processor functionality, to high-clarity LTPS display – iPhone 6 is expected to be loaded with a host of innovative, high-end properties. If it lives up to the hype, Apple would be able to make a solid turnaround after the flop show of iPhone 5C.
- iPad Air with A8 chip – In addition to news filtering in from Apple forums and iPhone app development companies, KGB securities add credibility to this rumor. The new iPad Air would have built-in A8 processor, offering users a much smoother performance than before. If this product indeed arrives in 2014, it would enable Apple to compete more effectively in the tablet market with Intel. It’s a pity that we would not probably see the iPad Pro (12.9-inch) this year though.
- iWatch – The product that might determine how Tim Cook’s future is going to shape up at Apple. The smartwatch is likely to release before the other products on this list, and it would be available in two different (AMOLED, 1.3 inch and 1.5 inch) display panels. It remains to be seen how reliable the 250 mAh battery of the iWatch turns out to be – although the wireless charging option would be handy. Since iOS 8 has already been unveiled, it can be assumed that the iWatch would support ‘smart payments’ (paired with iWallet) too. There is an outside chance that Apple might finally make a foray into Near Field Communication (NFC) technology with the iWatch too. Apple is going to adopt an aggressive approach for the shipments of the smartwatch – and that might prove to be a risky gamble though.
- A new iPad Mini – By the final quarter of 2014, the latest edition of the iPad Mini should also be launched. There is still quite a bit of confusion about its exact tech specs among professional iPad app developers – although it is almost certain that fingerprint scanner (Touch ID) would be present in it too. This would be the 3rd generation of iPad Mini, and it should prove to be another winner from Apple Inc.
- A cheaper iMac – Shipment numbers of the iMac have flattened a bit in the last few quarters, and a more affordably priced model can address this problem easily. This solution, of course, has been thought up by those up top at Apple – and an iMac marked at a significantly lower price-point should make its debut in the international markets this year. According to early estimates, the arrival of a ‘budget iMac’ can bolster the total adoption/purchase figures of Apple desktop systems by nearly 25%. Any compromise with the qualitative aspects might, however, spell doom for the new iMac.
- A revamped Apple TV – A completely new television set from Apple does not feature in the company’s product timeline this year – but the existing Apple TV model is more than likely to get an upgrade. The recent launch of Amazon FireTV has made the creation and launch of an improved Apple TV to be even more necessary. It would have a remodeled set-top box – and would have its separate App Store as well, which would absolutely delight gamers. The operating system would be on the lines of iOS, and streaming videos would be a faster, more seamless process. A Wall Street Journal report has also hinted at a deal between Apple and Comcast for the new version of Apple TV.
If there had not been problems in the in-cell display of the iWatch, it would probably had been already released. While many software and mobile app developers were disappointed at no ‘products’ being launched at this year’s WWDC – it wasn’t much of a surprise, since Apple does not have a track record of releasing new gadgets at its annual conference. Between August and November this year, all of the above products are likely to become commercially available.
The 7-for-1 stock split of Apple Inc earlier this month has given a major thrust to the share prices of the company (at $93.08, it is the highest figure for nearly a year). People are, naturally, expecting a slew of high-quality tools and smart gadgets from Apple – and the latter has a fairly impressive product lineup for 2014. We’ll have to wait and watch whether the new products indeed manage to meet buyers’ expectations or not.
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