2012 was a busy year for Apple, who debuted three new iPads, a new iPhone, introduced Retina Display to the Mac line and polished their iPod lineup. It was also a year of controversy, with a near-rebellion over the Apple Maps app and an App Store redesign that left users frustrated. So what's in store for 2013?
1. The iPad 5 will go quad-core, but it will be a media disappointment.
The next iPad is going to be super fast. Apple will upgrade the A6X to a quad-core processor, providing the biggest jump in performance we've seen in an iPad. And like the iPad 4, it will be released in the September-October range -- just in time for the holiday shopping season. But it won't have Near Field Communications (NFC), which would help turn it into an e-wallet, and lacking any big new feature, the media be disappointed.
2. The iPhone 5S will have Near Field Communications
After rumors in 2011 and 2012 failed to hold true, the iPhone 5S (or iPhone 6 or "new iPhone") will finally debut Apple's e-wallet. It will also debut with a much better version of Maps, though the overall accuracy still won't be up to Google standards.
3. The iPad Mini HD
There's one really good reason why the iPad Mini debuted at $329 instead of $299 or cheaper: to make way for a Retina Display in the iPad Mini 2. Priced too cheaply, the iPad Mini simply wouldn't be able to include this feature. However, the Mini 2 will probably be powered by the A5X, which also powered the iPad 3, rather than the A6X found in the iPad 4. The biggest surprise? The iPad Mini could include NFC even if the full-sized iPad doesn't. After all, it is designed to be a more portable iPad.
4. Mac continues Retina Display invasion, but says 'no' to touchscreen
While it won't be priced under $1000, Retina Display should make it to the MacBook Air in 2013. But what Apple won't do is create any type of 'hybrid' laptop/tablet, including adding a touchscreen to the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.
5. More iTV rumors, no actual iTV
I'd like to say we'll finally get some details about the much-rumored iTV product. Heck, just narrowing it down between being a full-fledged HDTV or simply a settop box that replaces our cable box would be nice. But Apple is notorious about not spilling the beans until a product announcement, and we can expect this product to be delayed by Hollywood's reluctance to jump into bed with Apple.
6. The iCamera.
Okay, perhaps we aren't getting a camera, but Apple is developing a few new products, and at least one of them should hit sometime in 2013. There are some rumors of an iWatch, which could be interesting if it held all of our music and supported Bluetooth. But I've always been fond of the idea of an Apple-branded Camera. It makes sense when you consider Photo Stream, Apple's ability to create a great touchscreen to control it (and perhaps even include some light photo-editing software), and the Twitter/Facebook integration now built into iOS.