We had a banner year in 2010 with Apple, from the release of the iPad to updates of all of our favorite products. In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s to come in 2011.
Major Update to iPad 2
We’re not sure what the actual name of the new iPad will be, but everyone is calling it the iPad 2. We’re expecting this new device to be announced near the end of January, with pre-ordering opening up only a few days after that. Once the pre-orders are in, expect a bit of a wait for this sucker, as the release date will likely be around the middle of April.
The iPad was undoubtedly the must-have tech toy of 2010 and strong sales suggest that there will be a market for an updated edition. Apple has stated that it wants to enhance the product and bring down the price in direct response to Samsung, which sold over one million Galaxy Tab units that offer more features than the iPad.
Everyone is expected an updated processor, enhanced graphics and display, a thinner form factor, and a front-facing camera to video chat. In addition, FaceTime will be a stand-alone app for Mac OSX and for Windows so people can use their iPhones, iPod Touches, or iPads to video conference with whomever they please.
iPhone for Verizon
This rumor has been going non-stop for two years and finally in 2011, we’ll see Verizon get access to the iPhone since the exclusivity contract with AT&T will end. Now, we’ll see the iPhone 4 sometime in January or February on shelves inside Verizon stores, but some analysts are expecting that to actually happen in June.
New Product: iPhone 5
Yes, the iPhone 5 rumors have officially started. Every year, Apple has refreshed the line with a new model, with the iPhone 4 being the next generation product. This time around, we’ll probably see a modest refresh of the iPhone 4 with a slimmer model with better battery life and a new antenna for better reception. In addition, we might see better GPS applications and more use of voice recognition. On top of that, we might finally be seeing a global iPhone model as well as an overall price drop.
Apple Stock Price
Apple’s shares are in and around the $320 mark and many analysts are expecting that number to rise to around $350 in 2011. Chad Brand of Periodt told Yahoo Finance, “The sheer earnings power of the company and future growth opportunities allow me to comfortably predict a share price between $350 and $400 over the next 12 to 18 months”. Since Apple is sitting on a ton of cash, there might even be a dividend paid out to shareholders, although Steve Jobs has a track record of being very disciplined with cash use.
New Mac OS X: Lion
We know that Lion has already been announced, but we fully expect it to debut in 2011. The last Mac OS X incarnation, Snow Leopard, was the final leap into true 64-bit computing. Lion will stand on the back of Snow Leopard to further the development of the operating system environments shared by Mac Pros, MacBooks, and iMacs. We’re just hoping that this upgrade is about the same price as last time, which was under $40.
Final Cut Pro Update
Final Cut Studio 2 has been around for the last few years, but web video technology has drastically changed during that timeframe. Although film makers and internet video content specialists still swear by the program, its next update will bring a true 64-bit version to the table, while at the same time addressing many of the needs of current web video trends. The cost will be pricey, but the rewards should be great.