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Apple will overhaul all its product lines in 2012, according to well-sourced (but sometimes wrong) trade publication DigiTimes.
At first, this seems like a tall order—a complete refresh for all products?
And yet, if you drill down, it doesn’t seem unlikely. As the great chart below from SplatF shows, Apple refreshes its products relatively regularly:
Let’s break down Apple’s major product categories:
- iPhone: Apple seems to have settled into a rhythm where the iPhone has a major redesign every other year, and a minor refresh in-between. That would set the stage for a brand-new iPhone 5 in 2012.
- iPad: Even though we have only had two years of data, so far Apple has stuck to the same rythm as the iPhone: last year’s iPad 2 was a moderate refresh of the first iPad; a brand-new iPad 3 in 2012 seems like a good bet and is widely expected.
- Apple TV: Many observers expect Apple to introduce some sort of ambitious new TV product in 2012, perhaps a voice-controlled TV set.
- iPod: The iPod business is slowing down, as it’s cannibalised by the iPhone and other smartphones, except for the iPod Touch, which is basically a phone-less iPhone. If the iPhone gets a redesign, it’s possible the iPod Touch could as well. Many people have already predicted the demise of the iPod Classic, which hasn’t changed much in years. And one day surely, demand for the smaller iPods will go away.
- Laptops: Many observers expect that Apple will overhaul its MacBook Pro line, giving it a thinner, wedge-shaped design similar to that of the MacBook Air.
- iMac: While the iMac is successful, its current “aluminium unibody” design has been around since 2007, eons for Apple. It’s arguably time for a refresh.
- Mac Pro: There have been reports that Apple could shut down its Mac Pro line due to weak demand, as it has its server line.
As we can see from Apple’s history and where its current product line stands, while a complete product refresh in 2012 at first seems like biting off more than it can chew (and it would certainly be a great feat), it’s not as unlikely as it sounds. In fact, it’s quite possible.
This note was published as part of BI Research, a new industry intelligence service from Business Insider. The service is currently in beta and is free. To learn more and sign up, please click here.
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