Apple is expected to unveil a brand new category
of devices under the iWatch name as soon as this fall, and it has already started filing official applications to expand its trademark to cover for ‘jewelry and watches’. Officially, Apple is expanding its trademark coverage for goods of category 14 - the company did have some products in this category covered before, but now it explicitly mentions watches, as conclusive of a hint about its intentions as it gets.
We know about the iWatch from countless rumors, all of which point to a ‘fashionable’ iWatch coming in two sizes, one with a 1.3” and another one with a 1.5” curved AMOLED display. It’s expected to feature a slim and light body, and the different sizes could well be specifically tailored to target men and women separately.
Now, back to the trademark filing, we ought to say that international agreement rules for 45 different classes of products. Apple has specifically expanded Class 14 trademark protection that aggregates goods like jewelry, watches, badges, necklaces, chains, sculpture and decorations. Cupertino has actually expanded its trademark to that new class in multiple countries - Ecuador is the latest, but previously, Apple has also filed the same application in the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Norway.
Interestingly, Apple has not filed such an application in its prime market, the United States. Coincidentally, Apple is not covered at all under Class 14 (which includes smartwatches) in the US.
Here's Apple's alleged 2014 roadmap
Here's Apple's alleged 2014 roadmap
1. Apple iWatch
Kuo outlines the upcoming iWatch as a device with ‘fashionable appearance’ coming around the end of the third quarter. The iWatch is expected to arrive in a 1.3-inch and a 1.5-inch model, both with a flexible AMOLED screen, and in a slim and light body. We already have a device with a flexible display on the market, the Samsung Gear Fit (stay tuned for an upcoming review of Samsung’s wearable!), and it’s been practically universally praised for its design. Now, back to the iWatch, it’s outlined to feature a sapphire cover lens, some sort of biometric recognition, NFC, wireless charging, and a 200 to 250mAh battery. But wait until you hear about its cost - Apple could allegedly price the most expensive version of that iWatch north of $1,000!
2. Apple iPhone 6
Right in line with earlier iPhone 6 rumors, Kuo predicts that the new iPhone will come in 2 sizes. First, let’s talk about the 4.7-inch model. It is expected to follow the same ‘Retina’ model for the display, which is to say it will sport equal pixel density of around 326ppi, stemming from a 750 x 1334-pixel resolution. The display is expected to be manufactured using low temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) technology, a tech that so far proves to deliver greater power efficiency. Apple is also said to have thinned down the bezel around the screen by 10 to 20%.
The 4.7” iPhone 6 will run on an A8 system chip with 1GB of RAM, and it should arrive in a thin, 6.5-7.0mm metal body. Another interesting detail Kuo mentions is that the iPhone 6 would also get NFC connectivity.
3. Apple iPhone 6 in a phablet size with 5.5” display
The 4.7” iPhone 6 won’t be the only phone launch for Apple, as the company is also expected to bring a 5.5” iPhone with a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels (401ppi). It is expected to run on the same A8 chip with 1GB RAM as the first model, as well as feature a similar design language with a metal body. Interestingly, Kuo suggests that just the 64GB model of the 5.5” iPhone 6 will use sapphire displays, while all others will use traditional ones.
4. Apple iPad Air 2
The iPad Air is also expected to get its yearly refresh around Q3 with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a new Apple A8 system chip, and an improved camera with a higher resolution of 8-megapixels. This time around, though, Kuo expects Apple to release the second-gen iPad Air earlier in the year. In comparison, last year, Apple unveiled the iPad Air a month after the iPhone 5s, in October.
5. Apple iPad mini with Retina Display
Apple’s second tablet, the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina display is also on the line for a refresh with the new A8 system chip, Touch ID, and generally the same design and form. It’s also no surprise that the 2013 iPad mini with Retina is expected to get a price cut.
6. 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro
Speculations about a larger-sized, 12.9” “iPad Pro” ran rampant a few months ago, but it has recently come to a halt. Kuo still believes that Apple is working on a 12.9-inch tablet, but he suggests it won’t be shown to the public in 2014.
7. 12-inch Apple MacBook Air
Skipping over to Apple’s non-mobile business, we see a very interesting upgrade to the company’s notebook lineup. Apple’s MacBook Air inspired a revolution in notebook design when it launched in 2008, and now the device itself might get a refresh. Kuo believes that we’ll see a new ultrathin MacBook Air with a touchpad with no buttons and a fanless construction. It’s also expected to get a higher-resolution screen.
8. Apple iMac
An all new version of Apple’s all-in-one, the iMac, is expected to be the first Apple device to get a refresh this year. Its biggest feature might not be a hardware upgrade (this will, of course, happen), but a lower price.
9. Apple TV
After Amazon stepped up in the TV set-top box business with its FireTV, Apple is also said to upgrade its Apple TV set-top box, equipping it with App Store support and motion controlled tech.
10. No word about a new iPod touch
Apple unveiled its current 5th gen iPod touch back in 2012, and while it did give it new colors and storage options in 2013, it did not officially present a new iPod last year. This year, too, we are not seeing the iPod touch at all in Kuo’s predictions. Could this be the end of the road for Apple’s iconic iPod brand? It’s still possible that Apple just quietly upgrades the 5th generation iPod with newer internals, but the other scenario also seems possible.