Apple’s done a pretty good job keeping consumers on their toes with regards to release dates for new iProducts in recent years, but it seems like we always have at least a few months’ notice prior to a major release. This is due, in large part, to the fact that Apple must get such an early start manufacturing enough devices to satisfy demand that it’s nearly impossible to prevent small tidbits of news from leaking out of the supply chain.
According to the site iMore.com, which cites unnamed sources, Apple has set tentative release dates for the next generation of its two dominant mobile products: the iPad and the iPhone. Reportedly, we’re going to see a new iPad in April and a new iPhone in August. Neither of these dates is a surprise, but it’s the first time we’ve heard them nailed down to this degree.
The next iPad is the more interesting product here, as Apple intentionally created fragmentation in the product line in late 2012 with the launch of the iPad Mini. Will we see a new Mini in April (perhaps with a Retina Display screen?), or will Apple go back to focusing on the original, 9.7-inch iPad? Perhaps the most likely scenario is that we’ll see new versions of both products.
The next iPhone should be somewhat less exciting. Most industry insiders expect Apple to unveil an iPhone 5S, merely an incremental upgrade on the iPhone 5. It should have the same form factor and the only upgrades will probably be to the processor, camera and perhaps one or two other relatively insignificant internal specs.
In the tech world, hardware is becoming increasingly less important — all companies have roughly the same great specs in their flagship products — so perhaps the most interesting product unveiling we’ll see from Apple this year (with regards to mobile products, at least) will be the new version of iOS. Apple’s mobile operating system has been heavily criticized for becoming stagnant in the past year or so. Whereas Android is pushing forward with exciting new features like Google Now, iOS still lacks features like homescreen widgets, the ability to change default apps and deep customization options.