What will Apple launch in 2012?
A prominent industry analyst believes Apple will launch a redesigned iPhone 5 along with a potentially expanded iPad lineup in 2012.
As Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray notes, the iPhone 4S did not feature a major hardware overhaul, indicating significant changes are likely to arrive via the iPhone 5, which could debut by mid-2012.
According to Munster, launching the iPhone 5 would help Apple bolster sales of its flagship handset in 2013, with a "base case" estimate of 142 million units sold, and a "bull case" estimate of 162 million units - or a 35% increase in revenue.
Munster also predicted that Apple will unveil a third-gen iPad to replace the wildly popular iPad 2 in 2013.
However, says the analyst, if the iPad lineup is expanded beyond it current models and price points, the company would easily exceed current growth estimates. Indeed, Apple’s flagship iPad 2 is currently available in three capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Two variations are offered: Wi-Fi-only and 3G-capable.
As of now, Munster projects sales of 66 million iPads. But in his bull case - which is contingent upon an iPad lineup expansion - Apple could sell 77.5 million iPads and grow its revenue by 30%.
Last, but certainly not least, Munster believes Cupertino could propel Mac sales even further with new form factors and an expanded lineup in 2012-2013. Previous reports indicate that Apple plans to redesign its MacBook Pro lineup in 2012, along with a new 15-inch MacBook Air.