Rumor: Apple plots a big product salvo in 2019

The latest set of Apple-related rumors to emerge from the spookily accurate desk of analyst Ming-Chi Kou...

Mac, Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Apple rumor

It’s a holiday in the U.S., which makes it a great day for the latest set of Apple-related rumors to emerge from the spookily accurate desk of analyst Ming-Chi Kou, who predicts the return of  giant MacBook Pros, a huge and hugely accurate Apple-branded display and much, much more as Apple ramps up its product releases for 2019.

Here’s what you need to know:

More than services

While we wait for Apple’s Hollywood moment and the spring launch of its all-new streaming media service (aka. Netflix/Prime competitor), it’s good to hear the company continues pressing forward on the hardware and software front.

Once upon a time Apple made a highly-prized 17-inch MacBook Pro. Pro users really liked it, particularly in the sci-tech and video production space. The latest claim is that the much-loved pro big portable Mac is making a comeback, only now it’s going to be a 16-16.5-inch MacBook Pro with an “all-new” redesign.

The analyst also predicts Apple will raise the memory capacity in its existing MacBook Pros to 32GB, which is the kind of power you need if you’re running a series of eGPUs while attempting to render new AR reality shows.

What do you need if you’re working professionally on a pro-portable Mac?

A high-resolution display, and it looks like this is something else that’s sat on the design table in the legendary Jony Ive design lab. The claim is that this will be a 31.5-inch 6K display using Mini LED backlights.

That means the display will be extremely color accurate, so while you’ll enjoy making movies on it, you’ll also likely get a kick out of watching The Passage in your streaming TV service.

The computers you have with you

The future of the Mac is also the iPad, and there’s news there too with the analyst once again predicting the arrival of a new iPad mini along with a new entry-level iPad 2019. These should both see processor upgrades and feature a 10.2-inch entry-level iPad.

Otherwise, he predicted two more iPad Pro models which will presumably be equipped with 13X chips. News of a new iPad mini is particularly exciting – it’s still one of my favorite computers to carry around with me.

The research note also hit on iPhone with the analyst expecting the three-model range to remain the similar (two OLED, one LCD), including use of Lightning (not USB-C) and the notch.

What’s new? Longer-lasting batteries, the capacity to charge your AirPods from your phone and some changes (he calls these “frosted glass”) to the casing. The location sensor will be enhanced, and while the analyst makes no mention of processor it’s reasonable to assume some improvement there. He does promise improved Face ID recognition thanks to an improved flood illuminator and a triple camera design.

Apple Watch predictions include a new ceramic case and ECG approved for use in new countries. AirPower, new AirPods and an iPod Touch with a recent A-series processor are all on their way, the analyst claims, some in the first half of 2019.

What he doesn’t say

There are several awaited products that don’t see a mention in this release. We’ve all heard speculation on HomePod improvements and of a tiny Apple TV on a stick, but the analyst has nothing here.

Nor does he furnish any insight into Apple’s plans for a brand-new Mac Pro, as promised this year. iMac also fails to get a mention, while the scarlet pimpernel of Apple iPhone speculation, iPhone SE 2, remains AWOL. Though I do think that is the one product people are quietly most hoping for.

When the going gets tough…

Apple has clearly been gearing up for this product salvo for a couple of years. With that in mind it seems reasonable to anticipate hardware and software enhancements (which we’ll learn more about at WWDC) to help underpin these new products.

It may also reflect an attempt to thrive in a downturn by ensuring Apple provides a wide array of attractive products in order that it meets its customers where they are.

After all, if you’re not planning an upgrade this year, you’ll still be able to feed your Apple habit by signing up to its media services, while if you are a pro user you’ll be looking to invest in hardware to keep your business moving for the next few years.

The bottom line? Apple watchers will be pleased as it seems we’re looking at a significant release year in 2019.

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Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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