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

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple is hard at work on a broad range of products. While a new iPhone naturally tops the list, Apple is working on new and upgraded products in all of its lines.

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.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...