The iPhone rumor mill appears to be rumbling to life once again. It’s gotten a bit of a late start this year, likely due to the later-than-usual release of the current iPhone - fall, as opposed to mid-summer. But now reports are starting to surface about across-the-board redesigns for all of Apple’s products, not just the iPhone.
Two weeks ago we brought you a rumor that Apple was preparing a retina display iPad 3, possibly for a February launch (though probably not until later). Then came the rumor that Apple was preparing to put a retina display in its MacBook Pro notebooks. That report appears to have been confirmed - or at least supported - by the discovery of references to “HIDPI” in recent beta builds of the latest version of OS X Lion, 10.7.3.
As to the iPhone, rumors have been trickling in for over a month about some of its new features. One report suggests that Sprint was preparing its LTE network for a 2012 iPhone launch, suggesting that unlike the iPhone 4S, next year’s iPhone (which should be called the iPhone 6, despite the fact that many insist on calling the iPhone 5) will be able to access the 4G LTE networks of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Meanwhile, DigiTimes predicted late last month that Apple would be bringing NFC technology to the iPhone in 2012, a feature which had been rumored for the current-generation iPhone, but was not included.
Finally, fuel has been added to the fire by analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. Munster sent a note to his clients today saying that he expected significant changes in Apple’s product lineup in 2012, including a revamped “iPhone 5,” and only one third-generation iPad (i.e., no iPad Mini). Munster also said that he believes a redesign of the Mac computer line could generate tremendous amounts of revenue for Apple in 2012 and 2013.
Munster predicts that after the changes coming in 2012, Apple will sell 142-162 million iPhones, accounting for 50% of Apple’s revenue, in 2013. He also expects 66-70 million iPad sals, 24-26 million Mac sales, and 29 million iPod sales.
What kind of surprises do you think Apple has in store for next year? Let us know in the comments.