Is Apple Speeding Up Product Releases?

As more and more smart devices are coming out from makers like Samsung (SSNLF), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), and RIM (NASDAQ:RIMM) — and at an alarming rate — Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to have decided to create new products at a faster pace as well.

Which products will they turn out faster, and why?

Apple launched the iPad mini only a couple months ago, but is apparently already planning to release a new model featuring an enhanced display early next year. It’s not clear exactly why Apple decided to go ahead with this plan, as it’s earlier than Apple would usually release the next edition of a smartphone or tablet. Some think it may either be to address complaints over poor displays on the current generation iPad minis, or because Apple has to compete with new Android devices, which are popping up left and right.

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So far, it’s not yet clear whether Apple’s potential move with the iPad mini will become part of a long-term strategy, or whether it’s just a one-off instance of quickly pushing out a new model in order stay relevant and stave off competition. However, this isn’t hte first instance of Apple releasing a minor update to a product earlier in the cycle than usual. Apple released its third-generation iPad in March, in keeping with previous spring launches for the first two iPads, but broke the trend when it released an updated iPad again in September 2012. The news of the iPad mini now has some speculating that Apple will apply this release strategy across a range of products in order to keep up with the fast pace of evolution in the technology market.

So, what could happen?

If Apple goes ahead with a faster production cycle on its products, it will likely see less explosive sales when new devices come out. However, Apple will have an easier time competing with the unending slews of Android devices coming in, and now Windows and BlackBerry phones as well. An enhanced ability to compete should boost sales, and perhaps also Apple’s share of the various markets in which it competes, which will in turn boost its share price.

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