Apple is a secretive company. Its suppliers, partners and developers are all expected to keep upcoming products as secret as possible. Leaks do happen, though, and now TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is claiming to have revealed Apple's plans for 2018.
Kuo is widely regarded as a trusted source for Apple leaks because he's a supply chain analyst with well-placed sources. That means the research note he published for investors, which was obtained by 9To5Mac, is probably as close to correct as one can be this early in a new product's release cycle. However, companies often change specific aspects of a product all the way up to their revelation and, sometimes, retail debut.
It helps that Kuo's claims aren't outlandish. Here's the summary of what he expects Apple will reveal throughout 2018:
- Macbook and MacBook Pro: Incremental upgrades, as well as a new budget model that might not be called the MacBook Air.
- iMac: A new model with "significant display-performance upgrades."
- Mac mini: A new model, which will represent the first update since 2014.
- iPad Pro: Updated models that ditch the Home button in favor of Face ID (just like the iPhone X) and will come in a new 11-inch size.
- Airpower: Production on the company's wireless charger.
- Airpods: Updates to Apple's wireless earbuds.
- Apple Watch: New models with bigger displays (1.57 inches and 1.78 inches) and enhanced heart rate detection
- iPhones: Three new models - a 5.8-inch OLED version, a 6.5-inch OLED version and a 6.1-inch LCD version.
Most of these predictions are par for the course. Apple usually releases incremental upgrades to its laptops as new chips become available, and Face ID expanding beyond the iPhone X is practically inevitable. Even the changing display sizes is typical of Apple, which often seems like it's a tech-y Goldilocks hoping to find a display size that's just right for everyone (it probably doesn't exist due to preference and hand size, but to each its own).
But the update to the Mac mini could be interesting. Apple neglected its desktop line for a few years, as evidenced by the long gap between releases, but it seems like the company's going back to its roots. Last year the iMac got a new counterpart in the iMac Pro, which boasts AMD graphics and much more powerful internals than its predecessor, for example. Maybe this year the Mac mini will finally be competitive again.
Of course, even though all of this comes from a reputable analyst, there's no telling what Apple plans to announce until someone has a product in their hands. The company typically makes its announcements throughout the fall, so we shouldn't have to wait too much longer to see what it has in store. Until then, expect to see a bunch of similar reports about what's emerged from the supply chain, because people love a leaky Apple.