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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Apple to expand iPhone and iPad offerings this year?

There have been numerous rumors flying around about smaller and/or larger iPhones and a device somewhere between the iPad and iPod Touch.  Here is what I think Apple may be planning...

The iPad 2 will be coming this spring, however, it will basically be the same form factor as the current unit, with a faster dual-core chip, front and rear cameras and a new lighter-weight enclosure.  This unit will come in the same 6 configurations and price points as the current iPad, except that the 3G models will support both GSM and CDMA networks.

Then, in the fall, the iPad line will expand, with Apple adding a smaller model as well as an "HD" model.  I think the new smaller model will be aimed at the K-12 market and branded something different, like maybe "ePad".  The "HD" model will add a retina-like 2048x1536 display and maybe even a 4G/LTE data option.  The existing models will be re-configured to fit between the ePad and the iPad HD.

In between the iPad releases, will be the annual summer update to the iPhone.  I don't really see Apple releasing a smaller form factor iPhone, but I do see them wanting to release a lower cost option.  They have done this in the past by simply lowering the price of last year's model.  I don't think that will work this year, as the difference between this year's model and the current iPhone 4 won't be enough and most people will opt for the cheaper iPhone 4 model.  I think we may see 2 iPhone models.  A lower cost model, with specs somewhere between the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 and an upgraded version of the iPhone 4 with the new dual-core A5 chip a maybe a slightly larger screen, with the same resolution as the current Retina display.

This will allow Apple to better compete with the many other form factors out there, without having to fragment their products too much.

ePad iPad iPad HD
7" 1024x768 Display 9.7" 1024x768 Display 10" 2048x1536 Display
Apple A4 Chip Apple A5 Chip Apple A5 Chip
16GB Flash 16 or 32GB Flash 32 or 64GB Flash
Front and Rear Camera Front and Rear Camera Front and Rear Camera
Wi-Fi (3G) Wi-Fi (3G) Wi-Fi (3G/4G)
$399 ($499) $499-599 ($599-699) $699-799 ($849-949)
iPhone Lite iPhone
3.5" 320x480 Display 4" 640x960 Display
Apple A4 Chip Apple A5 Chip
8GB Flash 16 or 32GB Flash
Front and Rear(3MP) Camera Front and Rear(8MP) Camera
$99 w/contract $199-299 w/contract

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