In the 2013 Q4 earnings call, Tim Cook reinforced that Apple is looking at and about to launch products in new product categories in 2014. He answered objectively, saying that Apple is definitely launching new products (not just upgrades, we are led to believe) in fall 2014 and across.
But what new products could really be in the pipeline? That’s anyone’s guess but there have been indications, rumors and general journalistic talk that has pointed fingers and shed some light on Apple’s plans.
When Apple hires someone from Nike (especially when that guy worked on Nike’s FuelBand+), people sit up and make a note of it. Those reporting it however add their own color to the story and we have many new insights about Apple’s iWatch.
The iWatch has been rumored for a long time now. Earlier this year, a Bloomberg report saying that Apple has about 100 engineers working on an iWatch-like device went viral. Since then, rumors about iWatch, it’s release date and pricing have been coming on the radar occasionally.
We haven’t seen anything of late that could spark the dying embers but this is one of the most interesting new product categories.
Other Wearable Tech
A lot of focus is bestowed solely on the “iWatch” but I think that Cook wasn’t specific about an iWatch actually. Instead, in the AllThingsD conference where he made his first appearance this year, Cook was hinting at “wearable tech” in its generality. To paraphrase his words, he was referring to Apple’s interest in the wearable tech space.
Google has tried to permeate this space through Google Glass. Watches like Pebble and bands like Nike Fuelband have also had their taste of success (moderate or wild). Samsung tried something but since I don’t have any good words to speak about it, I’ll let this one pass.
While it’s very likely that Apple’s first entry into the wearable tech would be through something on the lines the iWatch (or Pebble-like, for starters), it is not to say that Apple might be cooking up (seriously, no pun intended) some other product that is way outside our expectations.
This has happened quite a lot of times actually. When Apple launched the iPhone 4s, or when the iPad mini came out, a lot of expectations weren’t met and the products themselves were wildly off the mark (relative to what was being rumored and hoped).
Apple could be launching something that’s one step above Nike’s Fuelband too?
The 4k Apple iTV
Apple’s foray into television-making is another rumor that has yet to become a reality. From rumors about a secret lab under Ive’s command where engineers were testing new innovative television designs to rumors about 65″ 4K displays, a lot has been said and written about the Apple TV (iTV, if you prefer).
There has, however, been absolutely no inkling about a device of this sort. Way back in late 2012, rumors did hint that Apple iTV could become a reality by 2014. Even back then, it sounded too early and it sure does even today.
Unlike the part about wearable tech, Apple has made no references or moves that could indicate an interest in television. What Apple seems to be much more interested in is the content and the way content is delivered: a job that the Apple TV box is pretty much enough to do.
Macs and iPads Combined
Somewhere along the line, there are stranger rumors: larger iPads (13″), Mac+iPad hybrids where you get a touchscreen display. Right this moment, they sound un-Apple and completely off the chart but there’s no saying.
Touchscreen displays aren’t new but none of the implementation so far – especially in the Windows 8 segment – has caught on. Critics and fans do not agree that Apple could churn up something so innovative in this area but only time will tell.