Rene Ritchie of iMore.com yesterday published his thoughts on certain Apple devices. Ritchie has, of late, become one of the most trusted names in the Apple blogosphere; his sources have accurately pinpointed dates and features of various devices. With that knowledge, it seems wise to assume that Ritchie’s words aren’t mere guesswork, but are instead based upon what he has heard from his sources throughout Apple.
First, the iWatch: currently the rising star in terms of Apple rumors, Ritchie has the following to say:
The iWatch project — regardless of how the device is eventually named or marketed — sounds like its a go. We haven’t heard anything specific about feature sets or timelines yet, but we have heard it’s moving forward.
If the entire project sounds like a dumb idea to you, however, just remember how dumb Apple phones, tablets, mini tablets, and set top boxes sounded to many back before — and even after — they were first announced.
His thoughts correspond with certain rumors that surfaced in the last month or so. The iWatch makes sense: Apple is one of the few companies that has enough control over both hardware and software to properly integrate another device in to the existing ecosystem. Be sure not to underestimate what Apple could do with such a device, though: the iWatch could potentially solve many of the issues people have with their devices on a daily basis.
Rene Ritchie’s thoughts on the iTV are just as conclusively-stated. Ritchie states that “it doesn’t sound like there’s much if any movement on an iTV” and goes on to say that it may well continue to live on in Apple’s labs, but never see the light of day.
Ritchie also believes that the next iPhone will indeed be the iPhone 5S – in other words, more of an internal update than a form factor change. A larger or cheaper iPhone may well be in the works, but is unlikely to ship before the year is out.
The iPad, Ritchie asserts, will also receive an update in that it will see a form factor change. The full-sized iPad will gain the casing of the iPad mini, and the iPad mini will gain a retina display. Ritchie is unclear on timing; it may be this year, or it may be next year.
Ritchie, like most, concludes with the idea that the hardware isn’t the most important part of the upcoming lineup. What is more important will be software. Will Android continue to dominate Apple in terms of features, or will Apple be able to ramp up their development process in order to compete? That will be the big story of 2013.