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iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 (and even an iWatch!) - What to Expect from Apple in 2013 and Beyond
Apple is such an iconic company that it generates its fair share of speculation as to what devices are coming next and when. And these rumours are continually changing. So we thought it would be a good idea to bring you 100% up to speed as to what we expect from Apple in 2013 (and 2014) as the last couple of weeks have been particularly speculation-fuelled when it comes to the Cupertino-based company.
So, let's take these developments in chronological order, starting with the iPhone 5S.
Recent images purported to be from an iPhone production line in China suggest the iPhone 5S will look physically the same as the current iPhone 5. That would be consistent with what we've come to expect from Apple with the 'S' upgrades. The difference will be that the gap between the iPhone 5S and its predecessor will be only 6 months-ish (a Summer release is looking likely) rather than the usual year.
So what of the iPhone 6 - will that follow just 6 months after the 5S given Apple's new, speedier product development cycle? We'd thought so until this week but current speculation gives the iPhone 6 a Summer 2014 launch date. That's hardly surprising because it's likely that the iPhone 6 will look very different from its predecessor - with a 4.8 inch screen reportedly, almost an inch bigger than the current model and more in keeping with Samsung's Galaxy SIII and SIV handsets. One rumour is that the iPhone 6 will come in a variety of screen sizes, with 4.8 inches just being one option. It's an approach which has worked for Samsung with the Galaxy SIII and the SIII Mini, so we don't see why it can't work for Apple too.
On the tablet front, we're expecting a new iPad Mini and iPad will be on sale this year.
From the Mini perspective, the main change we're expecting is an upgrade to a much high resolution screen. For the iPad 5, which has a rumoured release date of the Autumn, we're expecting a smaller, slimmer version of the iPad 4. By smaller, we don't mean we expect the screen to be any smaller than the 9.7 inches that has graced iPads to date, but the overall device will be smaller because we expect the thinner bezels of the iPad Mini will be brought to its bigger brother.
However, the really interesting news coming out of Apple regards the possibility of the company producing an iWatch - in effect, a wearable version of the iPhone. Until this week, the iWatch was believed to be a concept that Apple were just experimenting with, but recent reports suggest that the product is on the verge of going into production.
What would an iWatch do, other than tell the time? Well probably link wirelessly to the iPhone, enabling it to access some its features. There's also speculation that it could be used to make mobile payments, for navigation, to access messages from the wearer's phone and perhaps to monitor activity and 'vital signs' from a health and fitness perspective.
From a design point of view, the rumour is that it will feature 'willow glass', which will enable it to offer a curved touchscreen interface, and it will have a 1.5 inch screen.
There have been rumours of a cheaper, entry level iPhone for those with more modest budgets for some time. Older models, such as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, effectively enable Apple to access the middle market, but perhaps the iWatch is designed for the entry level.
So that's where we are at the moment. Apple being Apple, the rumours will probably be completely different next week, but if you follow us on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news.