Apple doesn’t launch new products very often. However, according to a recent leak, Apple has some big plans for 2019 and might even launch as many as 10 new products this year.
This info came from renowned industry analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who, history suggests, has a proven inside track on what Apple is planning to do.
Apple blogs MacRumors and 9To5Mac both reported on Kuo’s latest research notes, which showed that the company would be releasing a new iPod Touch (!), two new iPads and a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019.
So let’s take a look at all of the Kuo’s recent revelations and see how likely they are.
New 10.2-inch iPad
According to Kuo, the existing 9.7-inch iPad will be get a bump in screen size to 10.2-inches in 2019.
He was light on details beyond this. But, it wouldn’t be too surprising. Apple recently gave the iPad Pros a screen size increase by making the bezels smaller and dropping the home button in favor of FaceID and gesture controls. What starts on the Pro is likely to make its way to the cheaper iPad model.
It’s likely that if this new iPad is real, it’ll launch later in 2019, away from Apple’s March event – which is likely to be dominated by Apple’s growing services portfolio.
New iPad Mini 5
The iPad Mini 4 has been hanging around since September 2015 and it’s felt as though Apple has forgotten about the baby iPad.
However, according to Kuo, 2019 will see Apple bring the iPad Mini back, alongside that larger 10.2-inch iPad. Currently, the iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch screen, so it might see a smaller bump to something north of 8-inches, which would help separate it from the iPhone XS Max.
If it does come to market, we’d expect the Mini 5 to run up against the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e and cost somewhere around $350-$400.
Check out our earlier roundup of iPad Mini 5 rumors
New 16-inch MacBook Pro
According to Kuo, Apple will drop a new 16-16.5-inch MacBook Pro in 2019, featuring an “all-new” design.
However, even MacRumors is putting the dampeners on Kuo’s reporting. The website states, “Unfortunately the report provides few details beyond that it is an ‘all-new’ design, suggesting Apple is revamping [its] current MacBook Pro design.”
Apple used to offer extra big MacBook Pros, but discontinued its 17-inch model in 2012. Resurrecting this larger form factor would seem like an aberration from Apple’s current MacBook Pro strategy, which is all about reducing overall size and complexity.
It’s also worth remembering that Apple last refreshed the MacBook Pro design in 2016, with the introduction of the TouchBar.
While a big MacBook Pro would be nice, it seems pretty unlikely.
Want something a little smaller? Check out our Apple MacBook Air review
The AirPods wireless earphones have been a runaway success for Apple. Just like the original iPod’s white headphones, the AirPods have given users a unmistakable status symbol to show off when they’re out and about.
However, it’s worth remembering that the AirPods have been around since late 2016. It seems likely that Apple would want to cash-in on the earphones’ popularity and launch another, improved version.
Kuo mentions that this new version would come with wireless charging support (to enable it to work with the AirPower wireless charger) and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity. They’re expected to ship in the first half of 2019, which might suggest a March release, or a one-off isolated drop.
There are also rumors that these new AirPods might be available in white and black, rather than just white.
New 2019 iPod Touch
Likelihood: Surprisingly high
Remember when the iPod was the gadget to have? While those days are long gone, it seems like Apple might genuinely bring back its MP4 player.
Rumors suggest that the new iPod Touch would come with an upgraded processor, which might make it a good choice for mobile gaming. However, Kuo is short on details beyond this.
A new iPod might help Apple rescue device sales in emerging markets, which has been decimated by Chinese companies offering cheaper phones such as Huawei and Oppo.
The question remains though, is there still a market for users who want a separate media device to their do-it-all smartphone?
Updated 2019 Apple Watch
The Apple Watch Series 4 hit the shelves towards the end of last year, and its edge-to-edge display turned heads.
However, Kuo reckons that a slightly refreshed version of the Series 4 is coming this year. It won’t mark a radical departure from the original model. Instead, it will offer electrocardiogram readings (ECG) in more countries — this will let you take accurate heart readings, which can be shown to your doctor. The new Apple Watch will get a ceramic case design option.
It’s not the most exciting rumor, but it’s certainly likely to bear fruit.
Read more about the ECG readings on the Apple Watch Series 4
Likelihood: Almost Certain
To be clear, Apple will launch new iPhones in 2019. What we’re debating here is what these iPhones will actually look like.
According to Kuo, there will be three iPhones on offer: 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED models and a 6.1-inch LCD model. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s exactly like 2018’s iPhones. All three will have the same notch area as the existing iPhones, as well.
However, the new iPhones will finally ditch the Lightning port charger for a USB-C plug (copying the latest iPad Pros). They’ll also feature frosted glass on the rear, just like the Google Pixel 3 XL, and improved tech to make location services and navigation better while indoors.
Interestingly, Kuo also reckons that the new iPhones will offer triple cameras. Whether all the models will get three lenses isn’t clear, but it would certainly suggest that Apple wants to really take the camera fight to Google and Samsung in 2019-2020.
So, to recap. Apple will drop new AirPods, three new iPhones, an updated Apple Watch, maybe a new iPod Touch and two new iPads. However, it probably won’t launch a big new MacBook Pro.
If you can’t wait that long to get an Apple product, though check out our reviews of the latest Apple devices: