Future Apple products? The iPhone 5S, the next iPad and iTV [Editorial]

You may, or may not have heard that Taiwanese news outlet Commercial Times has today stuck it’s hand in the “speculation” box and thrown at us a rather substantial claim about Apple’s product plans for next year. Now, the translation of the report is a little sketchy in places. In fact, it rather reminds me of some of my earliest TiP news reports. Regardless, there are a couple of underlying notions that can be taken away from the piece that anyone can understand.

  1. There is an iPhone 5S that will ship in Q1 of 2013
  2. There is a new iPad coming in the first half of 2013
  3. There will also be an Apple TV in the first half of 2013
  4. There may be some lower priced products

On first impressions, these seem to be pretty senseless claims, but then again, Apple has surprised us in the past with product releases. Despite the plethora of product leaks that we’ve seen make their way onto the internet in the run-up to release day, some products have slipped under the radar, for instance, the 4th generation iPad. That being said, I thought I’d take the time to explore the ideas a little more.

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iPhone 5S?

Now, the idea of an iPhone 5S isn’t ridiculous by any means. Once there was the iPhone 3G, then followed the 3GS. After that came the 4, which was followed by… wait for it… the 4S! If anything, the history of the iPhone would suggest that the next instalment in the iPhone series will be a “5S”. Similarly, I’d also bet that much like the “S” versions of the previous iPhones, the next iPhone will bring with it a multitude of smaller tweaks and improvements, rather than a radical new design. However, the notion that this iPhone will ship in the first quarter of next year is simply absurd. Not entirely impossible, but highly unlikely for a number of reasons. Imagine the public reaction if Apple released a new iPhone in January, February or March of next year. There would be a public outcry so great that Tim Cook would have to spend the remainder of the year in the foetal position.

Firstly, that would render the iPhone 5, “out of date”, giving it a relevant life span of no more than 6 months. For a device so incredibly expensive, that’s simply unacceptable. Not only that, it would prove that Apple had essentially developed two iPhones simultaneously (I say that because the article also suggests that 5S is already in trial production). That would mean Apple had created two devices, one inferior to the other. It had then released the inferior device, with the intention of releasing a superior one a few months down the line. Pulling of that kind of stunt would unleash repercussions so great that the move would have to be filed under “Corporate Suicide”. And it’s the same story with the iPad…

New iPad?

This notion isn’t quite as clear cut as the iPhone. That’s because this could be a reference to the either the iPad or the iPad mini. Apple has already screwed its customers over once this year by releasing the 4th gen iPad unannounced, just 7 months after the iPad 3. If Apple released another iPad just 5 months after it had released the new iPad, which was only released 7 months after the last model, then customers would definitely call for the head of Tim Cook. 2 weeks into the ownership of my 4th generation iPad, I would be at the head of the lynch-mob. If the prospective iPad was an iPad mini however, then the notion becomes a little less implausible.

A sizeable chunk of customers anxious to buy the iPad mini were probably quite disgruntled at the absence of an A6/A6X processor and – more importantly – a Retina display. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I think a better iPad mini will appear in the not too distant future, perhaps in March. However, as with all the previous notions I’ve discussed, I can definitely see that development upsetting a lot of consumers.

iTV?

Now we’re cooking on gas! The Apple HD television set has plagued the rumor mills for a very long time now, and it seems to fade in and out of popularity. Now, we haven’t been graced with any kind of product leaks we’re used to that might suggest and Apple TV is on its way, but I’m fairly sure that there will be an Apple TV at some point. The idea that it might come very soon is also kind of interesting, because as I’ve already said, the new iPad and iPhone prevent Apple releasing a new product in that area for a little while because of the prospect of consumer backlash. Therefore, a new Apple TV set would give Apple something shiny to show off at WWDC next year. In my opinion this is the least outlandish of the notions here. The most outlandish proposal is the next one…

Cheaper products?

No. I think that with the release of the iPad mini, many sceptics, myself included, were convinced that Apple simply doesn’t have it in itself to produce a device that might offer some kind of financial concession to the user. In the world of technology, premium comes at a price, and at Apple, everything is premium.

So there you have it. My take on that particular bunch of rumors. Naturally, some of you will feel differently about what I’ve said, and that’s cool, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below! Or hit me up on the Twitters @TiP_Stephen

 

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  • realrkennedy

    They released an iPad after the 3rd gen, giving the latter a very short life cycle.  So it doesn’t discount the possibility of Apple doing that with the phone. 
    There’s also a serious flaw in the 5, given that on the CDMA networks, it cannot do voice and 4G data simultaneously.  That very well could be one of the “minor” upgrades to a 5S, and a very worthwhile one, for a segment, while not ticking off the GSM users worldwide.

  • Ellipsisrabbit

    Why the negative obsession with retina screen for the mini. Having it would increase the price and size and decrease battery life.