If I had a dollar for every time I was asked when the next iPhone or iPad was out I’d be a very rich man, likewise if there were no Apple rumors the internet would almost be a deserted waste land (OK not quite but you get the drift!). So, just what do we know today and what can we expect from Apple in 2013?
Recent years have been somewhat predictable, a new iPad early in the year and an iPhone mid to late in the year. In 2013 however we’ve heard next to nothing from Apple on the new device front, not since the end of January when a subtle press release announced the larger capacity 128 Gb iPad. So what can we expect?
There will be another iPhone in 2013, that we know for sure. It’s highly unlikely it will be a radical change from the iPhone 5. Smart money is on an iPhone “5S” which will follow a similar form factor to the current iPhone 5, but perhaps they can squeeze the screen closer to the edges for a little more size, and as always pack it with some additional power under the hood.
The word of a low-cost iPhone has been around for years. I think this first started when the iPhone 4 was coming – what we got was the iPhone 3GS staying on sale, and ever since the older iPhones have stayed available as the “low cost” option. Perhaps the cost of manufacturing the iPhone 4 and 4S is behind the current thought that Apple will in fact release a lower-cost iPhone in 2013. Some suggest that will come in the same form-factor as the iPhone 5 – just with more plastic less refined metal and top class quality. Who knows – The iPhone 4S is still a top phone in my view, so there is no urgent need to find a replacement just yet.
When: Expect an announcement in August, with availability late-August or September
The iPad mini is still fresh and new, the design is still solid by market comparisons but it lacks just one thing – the “retina” display that Apple gives so much hype. I’d suggest that in 2013 we’ll see an iPad mini with Retina hit the stores.
If you’re still looking at the larger 9.7 inch screen, the iPad (4th Generation) now comes in 16-32-64 and 128 Gb sizes, but the design is aging. My iPad 2 from several years ago looks pretty much identical to the most recent version – so in 2013 expect Apple to give it a shake up. Smaller curves on the side like the iPad mini, a thinner form and most importantly an overall smaller set of dimensions. They’ll achieve this by taking design queues from the iPad mini. The long edges of the device will be narrowed around the outside of then screen – this could easily knock 2cm off the overall width of the device, while still maintaining the same screen size.
When: Expect this on in October, available right away in time for Christmas
Apple’s World-Wide Developers conference is about to take place in San Francisco. This is where developers get the low down on what’s to come, they get great help and support from Apple on development plans for apps on both iOS and Mac OS.
It is now traditional to hear about the latest mobile operating system at the WWDC and this year might just be the most anticipated for some time. Design guru Sir Jony Ive who brought the world almost all the iconic Apple device designs has been put in charge of the user experience across Apple devices. This means no feature of iOS gets launched without his OK.
iOS is most likely the biggest area where Apple currently lags behind in the mobile marketplace. iOS is a set of icons sitting alone or nested together in folders. That’s it – nothing more.
Turn your eyes to Android and you have icons that function the same way, paired with widgets that give you live information or updates, you have apps like Facebook Messenger or Viber which can interact natively with the operating system to give you alerts or messages in a fluid way, and for me as simple as it sounds – you can create “Settings” shortcuts as a touch button on your home screen for easy access to things like airplane mode, brightness settings, WiFi and Bluetooth toggles and more. These things are powerful, and really do add to the overall user experience.
In a world where kids live in the Facebook “inbox” a smooth “chat heads” integration could prove to be the reason many switch to Android. While others who suffer regular battery woes might be attracted by the simplicity of the settings toggle switches.
Whatever the case, Jony Ive cannot allow iOS 7 just to have a new look. It must have new functions, features and it must revolutionise the operating system. His biggest challenge? Making sure battery life isn’t impacted – that’s the first thing people notice!
When: June 10-14