Apple Hardware Lineup Expecting Many Updates in 2019
While Apple took a major hit on iPhone sales through the holiday quarter, they may well recover their hardware sloth in 2019. Through the end of 2018, Apple saw its first decline in iPhone sales in three years according to Gartner. However, a new report from Apple financial analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims a hardware filled 2019. From new 6K monitors to the ultimate release of AirPower, it could be a strong 2019.
Apple Hardware Updates
In an unprecedented analyst rumor “leak”(?), Kuo outlines details for multiple upcoming hardware updates or refreshes. It’s a lot of information for a single analyst to drop at once, but let’s take a quick look at what is expected for these devices. To support the information, Kuo released his own infographic, displayed below, obtained by MacRumors.
16″ MacBook Pro
The updated MacBook Pro is said to have a Retina screen size somewhere between 16″ and 16.5″. This is the largest screen since Apple previously provided a 17″ MacBook several years ago. Other than screen size Kuo does not mention other details.
Little was offered as a note for the Apple Watch Series 5 other than the Ceramic Edition material making it back to the lineup. Apple released a Ceramic version of the watch for the Series 1 and 2 versions, but dropped it for Series 3 and 4.
AirPower Charging Mat
Apple first announced the AirPower charging mat in 2017, claiming it would launch in 2018. As we slipped into 2019, jokes abound regarding Apple’s inability to produce a hardware product it very intently highlighted during a Keynote event. Currently considered vaporware, the AirPower mat should show up in the first half of 2019, according to Kuo. AirPower will have the alleged ability to simultaneously charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case; however the compatibility generation of those devices is unknown.
AirPods Version 2
Related, the AirPods will need to be upgraded in some fashion to work with a wireless charger. Kuo claims the AirPods update will ship in first half of 2019, like the AirPower mat. They have been otherwise rumored to offer upgraded sound quality and possibly heart rate monitoring.
iPhone 2019 Edition
The new iPhone is also related to these updated charge expectations. Kuo claims the new iPhones will offer bi-directional charging capabilities. This would give the iPhone an ability to charge the AirPods case. Assumedly, you would turn your iPhone face down and place the AirPods case on the iPhone back. This would activate the iPhone to pass a charge over to the AirPods.
Additionally, a new frosted glass back is expected as a way to differentiate the 2019 iPhones from the similar form factor released in 2018. A triple back camera system is expected as pictured above via AppleInsider.
iPods and iPads
A refreshed iPad mini 5 is expected to launch, most likely in the fall. The iPad mini 5 is expected to be merely a spec bump instead of an overhaul. The iPad Pro line is expected to receive an annual spec bump as well. A new 10.2″ iPad is expected from Kuo, which would most likely be the successor to the existing 9.7″ version. If this is the case, expect the now-9.7″ model to drop the Touch ID sensor, which would gain the .5″ extra screen coverage, while keeping a similar footprint.
Apple discontinued its Cinema Displays several years ago, in favor of a partnership with LG. The 5K LG display was marketed as an Apple partner monitor that was developed with LG, in order to guarantee quality. Unfortunately the LG UltraFine monitor launched with several issues, including aggressive WiFi interference for nearby devices.
According to Kuo, Apple is going to take another stab at the monitor market with its own 6K 31″ device. Expect the monitor to match the current Apple hardware with Silver and Space Gray variants and either a near-bezel-less display or a full black glass frame.
Apple Media Event
An Apple Media event is expected in March; however, the focus of the alleged event is unknown. Speculation about Apple’s new services seems to indicate the gathering will mostly be focused on a new TV, newspaper, and/or magazine subscription. For a couple years, different sources rumored Apple has been buying IP and licensing its own shows or movies. We should know more in the coming weeks, but no new hardware is expected this early in the year.