Apple just made a whole bunch of announcements regarding its next major software updates for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices, but we have yet to see any new hardware in 2014.
That could all change very soon.
Judging by the rumours, we can expect to see some new products that are radically different than what Apple has today in addition to a few minor refreshes.
Here’s a closer look at the products Apple will probably release this year.
The iPhone 6
Apple will probably release its next iPhone in September. Likely to be called the iPhone 6, Apple’s next smartphone is rumoured to come with a 4.7-inch screen that’s much larger than the current iPhone, which has a 4-inch screen. The next iPhone is also rumoured to be much thinner than the current model, and could resemble the fifth-generation iPod Touch.
Apple has kept the iPhone’s screen resolution at 1136 x 640 for the past two generations, but it may bump that up with its next release.
According to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, the iPhone 6 will have a 1704 x 960 screen.
Rumours have also suggested that Apple will use scratch-resistant sapphire for its display rather than glass.
Rumours about Apple’s smartwatch, possibly called the iWatch, have been circulating for over a year. But now we’ve seen the strongest evidence yet that Apple will release its first wearable within the next several months. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans told Re/code that the company plans to debut the watch in October. Re/code has a strong track record when it comes to Apple news, so it seems very likely that this report is legitimate.
Re/code also reports that the iWatch will be designed to work closely with Health, the new fitness app that will debut with iOS 8. The watch will likely include a pedometer for tracking steps and will be able to display incoming calls and notifications, according to Bloomberg.
The Giant 5.5-inch iPhone
In addition to making the screen on its next flagship smartphone larger, Apple is expected to release a giant 5.5-inch iPhone. This would put it directly on par with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, which comes with a stylus and features a 5.7-inch display.
Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone could feature a display resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, according to Taiwan’s United Daily News/Economic Daily. Again, this is significantly higher than the 1136 x 640 display on the current 4-inch iPhone.
There’s been some confusion about when this larger-sized iPhone will launch, however. At the end of April, Taiwanese news site the Commercial Times reported that Apple was having a difficult time creating the 5.5-inch iPhone’s battery. This could push the phone’s launch back to 2015.
That hasn’t stopped analysts from believing that the phone will be released this year. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White said in a recent note to investors that Apple’s rumoured big-screened iPhone will launch in 2014.
A Second iPad Air
In its traditional fashion, Apple is expected to launch a new iPad in the third quarter of the year.
KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, who has a pretty strong track record when it comes to making Apple predictions, thinks the second-gen iPad Air will come with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner in the home button.
It will also probably include Apple’s next processor, presumably the A8 chip.
Another iPad mini
Kuo also believes that another iPad mini is in tow for the third quarter of 2014 as well. Like the new iPad Air, Kuo believes Apple’s third-generation iPad mini will also come with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
A New Apple TV
Apple may launch a new Apple TV sometime this year.
In addition to Kuo predicting that a new set-top box will debut in the second half of the year, Bloomberg had also previously reported that Apple is working on a new streaming device.
According to The Wall Street Journal it may strike a deal with Comcast for the project.
The next iteration of Apple TV may come with a revamped interface that will be similar to iOS. This could also mean that Apple TV will be getting its own App Store since Apple may place a larger emphasis on gaming, according to 9to5Mac.
If true, this would make Apple TV an even stronger direct competitor to Amazon’s recently released FireTV, which is capable of playing mobile games.
Amazon has created its own gaming controller for the device and is funelling tons of resources into buildings its own game studio. There’s also a strong chance that the next version of Apple TV will come with more channels than the current set-top box.
An Improved MacBook Air
Apple may release a new MacBook Air model that’s even thinner than the current version. It’s standout feature is expected to be its Retina display, according to Taiwanese publication Digitimes.
It’s important to note that Digitimes doesn’t always have the cleanest track record when it comes to nailing down Apple product launches. MacRumors also predicts that Apple will release a thinner 12-inch MacBook Air with a fanless design.
A Cheaper iMac
Apple is considering releasing a low-cost iMac in 2014, according to a note from Kuo obtained by Apple Insider. Releasing a cheaper iMac would help Apple better compete with other desktop PC makers such as Lenovo and HP.