kuo_2013_apple_roadmap

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a decent record in forecasting Apple’s roadmap, and now he is out with a new report that illustrates his predictions for Apple product launches in 2013.

Kuo said Apple would launch an iPhone 5S and a redesigned iPhone 5 that serves as the new budget smartphone in June or July 2013. The iPhone 5S will look like the iPhone 5, but it will allegedly feature a slew of upgrades like an A7 chip, fingerprint sensor, and an improved camera with an f2.0 aperture and smart LED flash.

Apple agreed to acquire Authentec last year, but the purchase has yet to officially close, so implementation of the company’s technology for fingerprint sensors in the June/July iPhone would seem aggressively fast. In addition, Kuo said the much-rumored, cheaper iPhone would just be an iPhone 5 with an 8.2 mm plastic body— versus the current 7.6 mm—available in six colors.

As for the iPad and iPad mini, Kuo said Apple would update both in Q3 2013. The iPad mini will go Retina, while the full-size iPad will look more Mini-esque due to a slimmer and lighter body with thinner bezels. Check out this great mockup of a thinner iPad that takes design cues from Mini.

Apple will also update its Mac line, Kuo said. Apple will discontinue the non-Retina MacBook Pro line in 2013 and upgrade it to Retina with thinner designs and cheaper price points. The MacBook Air, however, will stay non-Retina because of production challenges in wanting to maintain its thinness, but it will possibly move to Intel’s Haswell platform in Q2 2013. Last, but not least, the iMac and Mac mini will also go to Haswell in Q4 2013 with no further updates.

Kuo further predicted Apple would discontinue the fourth-generation iPod touch and introduce an 8GB fifth-generation model without a rear-facing camera for $199. He then said Apple TV will receive a small update by late Q1 2013, but he did not specify what the update would package. Kuo also clarified that an Apple HDTV is unlikely to debut in 2013, though, due to content issues and other industry hang-ups.

Kuo might be well-known for his projections, but his latest report seems to include very general and safe predictions. Check out his chart above, for instance, on potential upgrades for the iPhone 5S and new iPhone 5.