iPhone 5S, New iPads Top Apple's Secret Product Plans for 2013

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-02-04

iPhone 5S, New iPads Top Apple's Secret Product Plans for 2013

Apple is always innovating. It’s something that has made the company as successful as it is today and an essential factor in enabling to out duel its many competitors. Needless to say, if not for Apple’s innovation and its desire to deliver the best products across a wide array of industries, the company just wouldn’t be what it is today.

There will be no shortage of Apple produce development and innovation in 2013. In fact, the company is expected to announce a host of new products this year that either update currently available devices or create an entirely new category for the iPhone maker. As with each previous year, 2013 is shaping up to be a big one for Apple.

Wondering which products are in the works? Read on to find out:

1. The iPhone 5S

It’s no secret that Apple is looking to launch a new iPhone this year. Since the iPhone’s launch in 2007, Apple has released a new model each year. Numerous reports out of Asia, where iPhones are produced, suggest a nominally upgraded handset featuring a quad-core processor and possibly, near-field communication. However, the iPhone 5S will likely come with the same design as the iPhone 5.

2. Get ready for a fifth-generation iPad

Although Apple just announced a 128GB fourth-generation iPad, the company is expected to release a new, fifth-generation model sometime later this year. As with the iPhone, Apple launches a new iPad every year and despite the recent storage upgrade in the fourth-generation model, it seems likely that Apple will deliver a fifth-generation iPad in the fall to take advantage of the holiday shopping season.

3. The second-generation iPad Mini is coming, too

The iPad Mini was an important launch for Apple in 2012. However, the device will be replaced with a refresh in 2013. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a note to investors that supply chain checks indicate Apple is looking to bundle a Retina display in the iPad Mini 2 later this year. Kuo predicts that the iPad Mini will launch in the third quarter of 2013.

4. Vast improvements to iCloud

During the third quarter of 2012, Apple acquired 18 design patents from a company called Maya-Systems. Although that on the surface might not mean much, Maya-Systems’ patents relate to a user interface design for cloud-based applications. When that tidbit was discovered, rumors quickly circulated that Apple was planning a dramatic improvement to its iCloud platform. Those rumors suggest iCloud could become more than a data and file synchronization platform and allow for full, Web-based integration with Apple’s many products. Such a product could launch later this year.

iPhone 5S, New iPad Top Apple's 'Secret' Product Plans for 2013

5. New MacBook Pros

Although Apple only recently upgraded its MacBook Pro line with Retina display technology, the company is expected to do it again in June. In December, reports out of Asia that were based on claims made from sources in Apple’s supply chain, suggested that Apple is planning to launch new MacBook Pros in June that will deliver “a new processor platform.” The MacBook Pros, however, will not see any major changes to their design.

6. A Mac Pro upgrade

Apple’s pro users have been waiting since 2012 to get their hands on a new Mac Pro. However, Apple has remained tight-lipped on its plans. That is, except for Apple CEO Tim Cook, who wrote an e-mail to a customer in June saying that while his company didn’t announce a Mac Pro at that time, it’s “working on something really great for later next year.” Translation: a new Mac Pro is launching this year.

7. A New iPod line

Like clockwork, Apple launches a new iPod line each year. In most cases, the company waits until the late summer or early fall to announce those products so it can capitalize on the school-time rush. Although the iPod’s popularity is waning, it’s still an important part of Apple’s business, making it extremely likely that, as with every year over the past decade, new iPods will launch in 2013.

8. iOS 7 Mobile Operating System

If Apple launches a new iPhone and iPad this year—and it will—the company will make available over the summer a fresh version of its mobile operating system, iOS. When iOS 7 launches later this year, the software will deliver far better Maps performance, according to reports, as well as some extra functionality in Siri. Luckily, many of the questions surrounding iOS 7 will be answered soon, when Apple starts seeding the software to application developers.

9. Apple TV

Much has been made about the Apple TV. It was first mentioned in 2011 in Steve Jobs’ biography, and then became the source of much debate in 2012. Still, through it all, a host of analysts, including Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, have said that Apple will launch its television in 2013. Tim Cook has perhaps been the most reliable source for Apple TV rumors, telling NBC in an interview in December that he feels today’s TVs make him go “backwards in time by 20 to 30 years.” He went on to say that televisions are “an area of intense interest” for his company, but that he can’t “say more than that.” Cook again stoked the rumor engine in a recent earnings call, saying that there is “a lot we can contribute in [the television] space.” Look for more on that as the year wears on.

10. A cloud-based music service

All signs point to Apple launching a cloud-based music service in 2013. In fact, BITG Research reported in December that Apple will launch a streaming-music service in 2013. Why? According to BTIG, Apple’s addition of “Radio” in iTunes 11 hints that the company is planning to upgrade that feature this year with a streaming offering. That claim came just several months after it was discovered that Apple owns patents related to a music-streaming service that could compete with Pandora. One other possible smoking gun: reports late last year suggested Apple was going to launch its streaming service in September, but its negotiations with Sony Music forced it to push back its debut to 2013.

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