Analyst Gene Munster has been relatively reliable in accurately forecasting Apple’s major product releases, and having concluded the Cupertino company would be releasing a connected TV sometime next year, he also gave his insight into what other new products and upgrades would be arriving in the next twelve or so months. Among them, a new radio service, Retina iPad mini and MacBook Airs, iOS 7 and a new version of OS X.
Working in ascending order, Munster believes Apple will drop a brand-new radio service circa March 2013. Set to rival Pandora, it will expand on Apple’s already dominant position within the digital music market, and although few details are known of how the service will play out, the song selection alone is likely to tempt consumers into subscribing.
At the same special event he expects the radio service to be unveiled, Munster believes Apple will unleash an iPad mini with a Retina display, a move which should serve to "address the only significant complaint about the iPad mini." I personally feel cost is more the issue with regards to the reception of the new smaller iPad, but by adding a Retina display, at least Apple will be able to slightly better justify the asking price. At present, it’s little more than an iPad 2 that’s been put on a hot wash, but with a sharper display, I think the complaints surrounding the slate will begin to die down.
In June, as can probably be expected, Munster has suggested a new version of OS X and iOS will be announced at WWDC. The yearly download-only releases seem to have gone down well these past couple of years, will be hoping for more of the same looking ahead to next year. Meanwhile, iOS 7 will be significant in that the influence of Scott Forstall will no longer be prevalent. All those material effects will likely be eradicated as Jony Ive takes control of Apple’s mobile software, and considering his positive influence on product design over the years, many will be fascinated to see how the Brit influences the new release.
The MacBook Air may follow the lead of the MacBook Pro in offering a Retina display, but the September upgrade of the iPhone, says Munster, will be "modest" akin to the iPhone 4’s transition to the 4S. It will purportedly take the "iPhone 5S" moniker, too, and offer a faster processor, increase in memory, and an improved camera.
Finally, he believes the iPad will look a lot more like the iPad mini, and since it’s no secret Apple is looking to lighten the load of a tablet which has gotten heavier through generations, expect it to be thinner and lighter than the iPad 4.