It’s that time of year again, when all the tech bloggers and journalists stir their cauldrons of rumours, whispers and gossip on what’s likely to be announced in Apple’s late year conference. Here are our predictions, let’s see how wrong we can be!
The Yes List
1. iPhone 5S
Bit of a no brainer this one. Similar to Intel’s tick-toc release schedule each year with new tech then refinement following, we fully believe the 5S will offer speed improvements over last year’s iPhone 5. The screen resolution will remain the same as will the form factor but the ARM SoC will no doubt get a speed tweak, possibly a die shrink and a memory increase too. There had been some talk of issues with the 5’s touch screen tech being a bit wonky but we never found this ourselves so the screen will probably remain the same. Camera wise we expect a megapixel increase plus better low light capture, especially in video mode. There has been the usual talk of wireless charging, fingerprint scanning and NFC but as no other Apple products really feature these, if any are to be included we think it will be NFC. With their new Lightning connector only a year old I think Apple will like to continue selling you over priced cables for a while yet.
2. iPad 5
After being bent over buying the iPad 3 only for Apple to then roll out the 4 a few months later, we see an annual release announced in September and released to retail in October making perfect sense to fill stockings across the world come Christmas. We reckon that the screen will remain, as let’s be honest – it’s amazing and beats hands down any PC monitor around. Perhaps the touch screen tech will be improved and as with the 5S the camera systems might be better. Speaker placement could do with a tweak and maybe battery too. CPU wise the latest incarnation of the Cortex will make its way in along with 2GB of RAM bringing things on a level playing field as the Nexus line.
3. iPad Mini 2
Everyone is crying out for a Mini with retina and we reckon having a year under its belt the new version will meet those cries. It would be idiotic not to, especially with the Nexus 7 Mk2 having a very high PPI screen and a lower price point. If it follows the way the Mini 1 was a shrunk iPad 2 then if we can get the Mini 2 following the iPad 3 we are onto a winner.
The No List
These three have been banded about for a while. The iWatch hasn’t really been mentioned much and with Samsung parading their Galaxy remote control we think Apple will hang fire until it has a killer product. The iGlass is an Apple take on Google Glass, mentioned briefly a long time ago and not heard about again. Too much of a leap from their current product line at present and lastly the iTV – Apple’s plasma/LCD/OLED flat screen telly has been mentioned year after year but with the current cost of TV sets at rock bottom theres no monetary incentive for Apple to go down this route – especially with the Apple TV not shifting great numbers.
How right or wrong will we be? Who knows? The only thing we do know is that Apple post Steve Jobs is not the great innovator it once was. The 4 was the last epic wow product with its Retina screen and having Siri didn’t make the 4S anything special, and adding another centimetre of screen height didn’t make the 5 astounding either.
With Windows and Android really kicking ass with their products, Apple do need to get the finger out and start bringing decent tech to the masses that at least meets what the other guys are doing. Maybe not laughable phablet size screens and plastic calculator feeling phones (I’m looking at your Samsung Galaxy S series) but some of the features listed for the S4, HTC One and even the older S3 blow the iPhone 5 out of the water. Be sure to run a Google search late on in the day come the 10th to see what goes down or check out http://live.twit.tv for live blogging from the event itself (and remember time zone differences).