Last year I published a list Apple predictions and I will post a complete score card. However, some of my predictions can not be judged until Apple announces its first quarter results on January 24th. I will however provide my 2012 predictions now.
The iPad 3 will be announced February 28th and released March 16th. The iPad 3 will include a Retina Display with a resolution of 2048×1536. The case will largely look like the current iPad but Apple will introduce colors (again) like the iPod Nano and possibly patterns like the old Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs.
The cellular equipped iPad 3 will come with LTE radios in addition to the 3g and 2g radios they currently have. The large battery capacity of the iPad will make this luxury a possibility even though the iPhone 5 will lag behind with 3g.
The iPad 3 will also have the new quad-core A6 processor and get the same battery life as the current iPad except when using the LTE radio.
The memory options will remain16, 32, and 64 gb. This will be the last iOS device to include the 30 pin dock connector. The iPad 3 will get Siri. Prices will remain the same.
The current iPad 2 will continue as a discount model to fight the Kindle Fire and what-ever 7 inch piece of crap Eric Schmidt is talking about. The iPad 2 will only be available in 16 gb, but will still be available with WiFi or WiFi +cellular. The iPad 2 will be priced at $349 for the WiFi version and $479 for the WiFi +cellular
In addition to Verizon and AT&T, Sprint will get both iPads. Sprint will introduce a discounted price that bundles the wireless internet for your phone and iPad in order to solidify its position as the bargain wireless plan.
Last year I estimated cumulative sales of 65 million iPads (total of 2010 and 2011 iPad sales). Barring a total sales frenzy over this past Christmas I’m was a wee bit optimistic, with cumulative sales coming in closer to 54 million (that assumes iPad sales of 14 million in the Christmas quarter, 90% more than last Christmas, and 30% more than previous quarter). I am going to predict sales of 60 million iPads in 2012.
The iPhone 5 will be introduced in September and go on sale two weeks later. The message of the design is durability. Apple will use the same nano-coating that Motorola used on the RAZR to make it more water repellant. Apple will brand this with a unique name and claim it to be a major breakthrough.
Continuing with the theme of durability, Apple will abandon the 30-pin dock connector and seal the entire body of the phone. All data connections will need to be done wirelessly. A new MagSafe-like connector will be introduced for charging. Additionally the iPhone will lose the glass back, and it will be replaced with an aluminum one like on the iPad.
NFC will be added to go along with an electronic wallet system called iCash. This will be linked to your iTunes account.
The phone will be slightly thinner than the iPhone 4, but will largely have the same form factor. There will not be a tear-drop shaped design. The screen size remains 3.5 inches. Like the iPad 3, it will be released in multiple colors. The rear camera gets better, the device gets thinner, the phone receives the quad core A6.
With the introduction of the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S is only offered with 16 gb and moves down to $99. The 8 gb iPhone 4 becomes the free offering in developed countries and the 3GS soldiers on as the price leader in emerging economies.
|Data from Asymco.|
- 8 gb WiFi $229
- 32 gb WiFi $329 WiFi + Cellular $399
- 64 gb WiFi $429 WiFi + Cellular $499
Throughout 2012 there is not a peep about the next version of OS X.
Apple introduces a revamped Apple TV at WWDC and it goes on sale in September. It remains the little iOS box that is currently sold with a bigger processor and a new version of the OS and Siri. An iOS device running iOS 6 will be required to act as the microphone for Siri. It will also gain the ability to add apps from the iTunes App Store. The Apple TV Set will also be introduced in June for a September or October role out. The Apple TV set (iPanel?) will not offer any significant feature beyond the Apple TV. However, it will come bundled with a 7 inch iPad to act as a remote control, game controller and auxiliary screen. Additionally, any iPhone, iPad and iPod running iOS will be able to duplicate the functions of this uber-remote.
Tim Cook will remain the CEO and there will be a steady trickle of VPs leaving the company for other CEO positions. Names that will stay include Cook, Cue, Ive and Schiller. Forstall, Mansfield are among the Veeps who may move on.
A lot of companies might try to entice the architect of the iPhone to be their top guy and with a young Tim Cook (born 1960) secure as CEO, an ambitious Forstall might make the jump. Can you imagine Scott Forstall being tapped to replace Ballmer at Microsoft?