Apple is notoriously secretive.
The Californian technology giant almost never speaks about upcoming products before they’re officially announced. Journalists who ask about rumours and reports might get told “no comment” — if they’re lucky enough to get a response at all.
But for all its mystery, it can’t stem every leak. Reports and speculation inevitably swirls in the run-up to rumoured launches, while many of its products are released on a regular annual schedule.
We’re now five months into 2017, but there are still some pretty big launches ejected from Apple — including an eagerly anticipated tenth anniversary iPhone, and the first new major hardware product Apple has unveiled in years.
Here they all are …
Apple has only unveiled one major new hardware product since Tim Cook become CEO back in 2011: The Apple Watch. But that may finally be about to change.
The Cupertino technology giant is rumoured to be developing a smart speaker with its AI assistant Siri built-in. Right now, smart speakers and virtual assistants are all the rage in tech. Amazon has the Echo, while Google has Google Home.
It is reported to come with a screen, may emphasise sound quality, and could even have facial recognition built-in.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons it could be announced in June, at Apple's WWDC developers' conference, and start selling in the second half of 2017. He believes it will be a premium product -- going for more than the Amazon Echo.
This is the big one.
2017 marks ten years since the launch of the first iPhone, and Apple is believed to have big plans to mark the occasion.
The iPhone 8 is expected to come with an almost edge-to-edge screen without a physical home button, a juiced up camera with some augmented reality functionality, and a glossy iPhone 4-esque glass back, among other features. But it won't come cheap -- rumours suggest it will be $US1,000-plus.
It could be difficult to get your hands on: There have been multiple reports that due to manufacturing difficulties, its commercial release might be delayed for months from the traditional September iPhone launch. And even when it does hit stores, it may still be hard to find.
But that's not the only iPhone launch to come ...
Alongside the iPhone 8, it looks like there will be an iPhone 7s too. It'd be an incremental update on 2016's iPhone 7, much like has been released in previous years.
It's less exciting, but it will be cheaper than the iPhone 8, and should launch as normal following a September announcement event.
In 2016, Apple unveiled a revamped MacBook Pro that replaced the laptop's function keys with a 'touch bar' touchscreen. An updated version with better specs is expected to be revealed in June, at Apple WWDC developer conference.
One more: Bloomberg is also reporting that Apple has 'considered' releasing an updated version of the MacBook Air, despite the ageing nature of the laptop. But this one isn't certain.
In April, Apple announced that there are new iMacs coming later in 2017 geared towards pro users. There's no word on specifications yet, or a specific launch date, just that they're coming 'this year.'
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