Earlier today I laid out my expectations for tomorrow’s Apple Event. That said, the prediction game is extremely entertaining and I do not want to miss a great opportunity to play it. So, here we go, these are my predictions:
- iPhone: As part of the introduction, Apple CEO Tim Cook will try to clarify that the iPhone 5S/5C has been a success and will provide some data to assure everyone that the iPhone 5C is not a failure. There will also be some talk about the quick adoption of iOS 7 and how this compares to the Android world. Apple will announce the availability dates for the new iPhones in additional countries.
- iPad: For the first time Apple will try to clearly differentiate the iPad mini from the iPad. The iPad will be promoted as a tool for content creators, and that claim will be backed by a powerful processor, the A7, and a smart cover that will include a keyboard. In addition, the iPad will include the same fingerprint reader built in the iPhone 5S for additional security (no multiple accounts for now). That is also why the new iLife and iWork applications will be showed off on the large screen iPad. The iPad mini will be pitched as a tool for content consumption with a Retina Display to enjoy movies, books, magazines and games. Apple will showcase the mini with third party game controllers made for iOS and games updated for iOS 7 that support the new APIs. The new iPads will not be available in multiple colors.
- iPods: This is no longer a strategic product category for Apple, and as a result I do not expect major changes to their 2013 lineup. That said, I believe that the iPod touch will be updated with an M7 chip, to prepare for the iWatch launch in the first half of 2014 (for more on this read my previous blog entry on this subject).
- Mac Pro: This is the ultimate machine for video professionals. As a result, Apple will use it to demonstrate new versions of their Pro software tools in addition to OS X Mavericks (which will be launched over the next two weeks). The demo will run on multiple screens, which means updated Thunderbolt Displays that will include two Thunderbolt 2 ports. There is a good chance those displays will support 4K (although there may be two versions of these displays, one with regular resolution, the other with 4K). The Mac Pro will be a very expensive computer, with a low entry point below US$3,000 but with customization options that will bring that price easily around or above 10K. In order to sweeten the deal for their target audience (and to fight agains Adobe and Avid) Apple will offer bundles that include single user licences of their Pro software, preinstalled. An upgraded Mac mini will be quickly mentioned with 802.11ac, an updated Haswell processor and maybe (this is a long shot) Thunderbolt 2.
- Mac Books: Apple will release updated Mac Books (including the Pro models) with 802.11ac and Haswell processors. The main selling point will be a significantly longer battery life. Retina screens may come to all models (this is also a long shot).
- Apple TV/iWatch: There will be no new product announcements this year, but we may see a price drop on the current Apple TV in order to better compete during the holiday shopping season. We will have to wait for another three to six months.
And that is it. There will not be a new product category this year, but it will still leave Apple with a solid product lineup for Christmas that should allow them to have a successful quarter.
What do you think?
Update: I was definitively wrong about iPad differentiation. Choosing an iPad is harder than ever. Apple covered all the price points but did not explain why people should choose one model over another depending on their needs. I think this is a mistake, most people need to be guided and confusion can be a sales inhibitor. The iPod touch wasn’t updated either.