What’s Apple readying for the near future, the holiday season, and early 2014? Only Apple knows, of course, but it doesn’t take those of us accustomed to reading tea leaves to figure out what new gear to put on the shopping list.
The Predictable Apple
With one exception, predicting Apple’s holiday shopping season is easier this year than in years past. Why? With iPhone and iMac out of the way, what’s left?
First, the MacBook Pro line is due for a CPU and feature refresh, if anything to bring the Pro models onto the same level as the MacBook Air– improved batter life, and high speed Wi-Fi.
Second, Apple promised the much ballyhooed Mac Pro would be launched this ‘fall.’
The Mac Pro isn’t exactly a stocking stuffer item (though, for the first time ever, the Mac Pro would fit into a stocking– maybe Kim Kardsashian’s stocking), and ‘fall‘ can mean anytime until just before Christmas.
Third, the iPod hasn’t had a refresh in awhile. If Apple drops new iPods this month, as expected, fine. If not, then say goodbye to the iPod. And, finally, the iPod Classic.
Fourth, OS X Mavericks will see some fall marketing love from Cupertino, sans the spartan look favored by design honcho Jonny Ive. I can see the writing on the wall of headlines. ‘iOS 7 Infects OS X Malibu.’
The only real question with Mavericks is the price? $20? Or, free?
iPad Needs Love
If ever there was an Apple product (other than the aluminum clad Panzer tank known as Mac Pro) that needed a refresh, it’s Apple’s aging iPad line. The last update was about a year ago, and it didn’t do much.
The 9.7-inch iPad got speedier and a Lightning connector, while Apple debuted the Retina display-less iPad mini (just in time for squinty-eyed shoppers to lap them up). Today, all major makers of similar sized Android-like tablets have displays with much higher resolution than the original iPad.
The only real question is whether or not the iPad refresh will have two versions of each size (similar to the iPhone), and will one of them sport Apple’s 64-bit A7 CPU and the Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor.
Apple TV Is Not A TV
As much as Apple fanboi and fangrl alike want to see a real Apple TV, here’s the deal. Not. Gonna. Happen. There’s no money in the television set business. The real money is in content and distribution, and Apple does well in both arenas.
Besides, Apple prefers to launch the future by skating to where the puck is going to be, and Ultra HD or 4K TV is the future puck location. Apple’s venture into Ultra HD 4K might be more along the lines of a 4K display for the new Mac Pro model which can actually power video to an Ultra HD display. And, just for grins, let’s have Apple ship an Apple TV which also does 4K streaming to new Ultra HD televisions.
It makes sense, but not this year. Ultra HD is a baby.
Wearable Technology And Discounts
Finally, will 2013 be the year Apple gets into the wearable technology industry? Nope. Think 2014. Remember, Apple just recently hired all those high end fashion and accessory executives. They’re on the payroll for a reason, but they’re not pushing products for 2013.
Oh, one more thing. What happened to Apple’s low priced iPhone? You know, the one that would save the company’s stock, bring affordable luxury technology to underdeveloped countries, and get technology pundits to stop writing nasty things about Apple. That low priced iPhone.
Well, Apple actually shipped it already, but the technorati elite and Wall Street charlatans just were not paying attention to the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Here’s the deal about the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Both cost less to make than previous iPhone models, especially the colorfully heeled 5C model.
Let the discounts begin. With more profit margin on the 5C, yet with a higher-than-expected price tag, Apple’s resellers have more room to discount the model to near entry-level status. That’s happening already in the U.S. and China. iPhone 5C is the discountable model that discriminating discount buyers want and need and Apple is willing to oblige.
There you have it. My Apple Gear Guide for holiday shopping in 2013. What’d I miss?