Notable Apple analyst predicts 2014: 12-inch Retina MacBook, cheaper iMac, iPad w/ better screen

Often reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is out with a new research note with claims of Apple's plans for 2014 (or at least some of them). Here at Pocket-lint we typically try to stay away from what analysts have to say, but Kuo has been reliable in the past.

According to the analyst, Apple will release a 12-inch MacBook with a new design, as a middle ground between the 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air. It won't be launched until Q2 or Q3 of 2014, but may be worth the wait because it will not only be thinner and lighter build than the MacBook Air, but have a Retina display unlike the current MacBook Air line.

Kuo goes as far to say Apple will "redefine laptop computing" with the 12-inch MacBook. It won't feature an Apple-based A8 processor like some have predicted for Apple's Mac line in 2014, but instead will run an Intel chip. Pricing is unknown, but it could be the lowest-priced MacBook Apple offers.

The iMac line will get a cheaper version too, and Kuo expects iMac sales to be boosted by 10-20 per cent because of it. The iMac has often been seen as an expensive purchase by customers, with lower-cost Windows machines on the market that offer a more enticing price point for customers on a budget. There's no word on the specifications the lower-cost iMac would be running - nor a price. At any rate, Kuo says we'll find out in Q2 or Q3 2014.

Furthermore, the iPad 5 isn't even on the market yet, but that's not stopping the sixth-generation iPad rumours from flowing. We'll reportedly see the same 9.7-inch screen as the current iPad line, but it will pack a 30-40 per cent higher PPI (pixels per inch) - which would be crazy good.

Kuo doesn't have any information on the rumoured Apple TV set or iWatch from the company, which in a way, makes his latest Mac and iPad predictions that much more reliable. Analysts from DisplaySearch collaborated with reports of a 12-inch MacBook from Apple, though labelled it as having "Air" branding.

We still have 2013 to get through, and Apple still has some pretty big announcements lined up. Reports have noted Haswell MacBook Pros, updated Mac minis, iPad 5, Retina iPad mini, and an OS X Mavericks launch are still on the docket for the end of the year. Keep it locked to our Apple hub for the latest.



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