Here’s a Preview to Apple’s Coming Mega-Year
If this year saw a glut of new devices from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the coming one is likely to witness a bigger bonanza. Apple’s year of several core product launches in 2013 will be capped by the arrival of the much-awaited high-definition television from the company, according to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster. The analyst also reiterated an Overweight rating for Apple stock and a $900 price target in a note to investors on Tuesday.
Munster wrote that Apple was likely to release an iPad mini with a high-resolution Retina display toward the end of the first calendar quarter of the year, alongside the launch of a new radio service to compete with Pandora (NYSE:P), as has been rumored recently. The iPad mini upgrade would “address the only significant complaint about the [device].”
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A second product upgrade may come in the summer in the shape of the Apple TV set-top box, which may now include a television app store. The third major product launch event would center on the next iPhone in September. The “iPhone 5S” would only be a “modest upgrade” from the iPhone 5, but feature a faster processor, additional RAM, and an improved camera. That event may also include a new full-size iPad.
But most notably, Apple was likely to launch a television set in time for the holiday shopping season next year, Munster wrote. The analyst predicted that the TV would sport screen sizes between 42 and 55 inches and be priced between $1,500 and $2,000. “We expect the beauty of the design to be a feature, but the most important feature will be the ability to use the TV as the main interface for the living room across multiple devices,” Munster wrote, according to Apple Insider. “We believe the TV will include Siri and FaceTime. The biggest item unlikely to come with the TV will be unbundled channels.”
In terms of software updates, Munster said he expected Apple to preview the next versions of the Mac OS X and iOS operating systems at its annual developers conference in June. “We expect iOS 7 core new features to include additional wallet features for Passbook, commerce integration for Siri, and Maps improvements,” he said. He added that he expected the MacBook Air lineup to get the Retina display option soon.
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