Apple certainly made headlines this year in 2012. Their feud with Samsung, leaked images of their products, and the anticipation of the iPad Mini were top examples. However, we still wonder what’s next in Apple’s lineup, and what’s next in their secret sauce? How can Apple capitalize on this year? Here are some of our predictions for 2013, despite whether they’re true or not.
Apple Branded Television Set
Something that’s been rumoured for the past year is an Apple-branded television set, and I’m not just talking about their box set. Rumour has said that Apple will create an actual television set that will be released in the near future, even as early as next year. But this won’t be your traditional TV set like an LG, Samsung, or Toshiba. It’s going to be your one TV with the TV box built in, as well as other applications.
We could see Siri integrated within the TV, something that could be extremely cool. Controlling the TV with my voice, and asking to change channels with a click of the remote would be awesome. Other apps that would most likely be included is Netflix, Hulu (for USA), and other streaming media services as well. There should also be apps developed by television networks such as CTV, Global, CBC, and other TV stations. However, even if it does come out, they will still have to negotiate with cable providers, which would be a major hurdle. Here in Canada, major broadcasters such as Shaw, Telus, Rogers and Bell would be ideal partners.
I believe in order for this to be achieved, we need something along the lines of a “Google TV”. We need to see Apple enter the “Smart TV” industry, and not an actual branded TV set. This smart tv would allow you to still connect your PVR/cable box, and enable the features that Apple would provide. It will be interesting to see how apple would achieve this, and we’ll keep our eyes open next year for something like this!
iOS 7 – The Major Revamp to iOS Since iOS
I’m actually excited to see how iOS will evolve next year. With Scott Forstall fired recently, and Mr. Ive in charge of iOS now, we can expect to see radical changes to iOS. At this moment, iOS is quite outdated compared to the Android operating system, and Android is evolving quite quickly within the past year.
Something we’d like to see in iOS 7 is live tiles or widgets. There are many great concept ideas on YouTube explaining how Apple should achieve this, and Apple should take note of this.
Another change I can see is an upgrade to Siri. At the moment, Siri is still in the “beta” stage, which in our view is totally unacceptable. It needs to be faster, compared to the speeds of Google Now. While I did like the new capabilities in iOS 6, it’s not quite enough to compare to Google Now. Finally, Siri needs to be able to integrate with third-party apps and services, which could be quite useful in a variety of applications.
iPhone 5S or iPhone 6
This is definitely going to come out next year, and how could we not include this? In the next generation iPhone, I’m really hoping for NFC technology, which is near-field communication. An idea similar to Google Wallet, this would completely evolve the “Passbook” service Apple introduced in iOS 6. Other changes we will most likely see is upgraded RAM, a new Apple chip (hopefully quad-core), and a better camera most likely. There will most likely be no design changes, as Apple tends not to do this, since the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S was the same design. However, we may see the iPhone be offered in different colours, similar to how the iPod Touch 5th generation has different colour options. This will also include iOS 7.
New iPads – iPad Mini 2nd Generation & iPad 5th Generation
With the release of the iPad Mini just a few ago, Apple will definitely release a new iPad Mini next year. This new iPad I hope will have the retina display, as the current version is stuck in the iPad 2 resolution. The new iPad Mini should also have a new processor and faster RAM. Finally, I believe Apple should reduce the price of the iPad Mini, to compete with the $209 Google Nexus 7 and other 7-inch tablets. However, Apple may achieve this by reducing the price of the current iPad Mini next year when Apple releases the newer version, similar to how they do this with the iPad lineup.
The 5th generation iPad should be a significant upgrade from the 3rd and 4th generation iPad. This new iPad should be slimmer and lighter, since the 3rd and 4th generation version had an increased size and weight. The design may be changed to mimic the new design of the iPad Mini. I also believe the new iPad will have an increased processing power, with more RAM, and a brand new chip.
These may be released in March 2013, according to reports that have recently surfaced, but time will tell.
It will be interesting to see what Apple will do next year, and how they can capitalize on this year. Apple needs to evolve quickly, or otherwise they will be left in the dust when compared to the Android operation system.