Apple may launch iPad with higher resolution in 2014, along with a 12-inch retina Macbook

Today in Apple: New iPad may have higher resolution in 2014 and a 12-inch Macbook. Plus: A lower cost iMac? And the media's obsession with cheap Apple products

Higher Resolution iPad and 12-Inch Macbook in 2014

Although the current iPad already has a retina display, Apple Insider is reporting that 2014 might bring one with an even higher screen resolution. Apple may also launch a 12-inch Macbook with a retina display.

Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, revealed on Saturday that Apple has a number of major new products in the works for next year. Most notably, the new 12-inch MacBook will feature what he said is an "ultra-slim clamshell form factor."

He expects this new model to offer a marriage between the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the greater productivity offered by the 13-inch model. The display is said to be on par with Apple's high-resolution MacBook Pro Retina display.

The analyst also revealed that Apple is working on a new sixth-generation iPad with a higher pixel-per-inch count than the existing 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display.

Kuo has a strong track record of accurately revealing Apple's future product plans.

More at Apple Insider

If the comments about a new Macbook are true, it will prove to be a very popular product indeed. I can see many current Macbook Air users upgrading to it. Once you get used to a retina display on your laptop, it's tough to go back to a lower resolution screen.

The higher resolution iPad will also be interesting to see. Right now the screen resolution on the iPad is quite good, so I'm not sure how much more noticeable a better one would be for most people's eyes. Still, it should be fun to check out the difference.

A Lower Cost iMac

MacRumors is reporting that an analyst is noting that Apple may release a lower cost iMac in 2014.

Our surveys indicate that Apple’s last iMac model, released at end-2012 with an all-new-design, shipped fewer-than-expected units in the worldwide market. We think the price was set too high and the model failed to make an impact in critical foreign markets like China. We thus think Apple may offer a budget iMac model to push shipments among non-US markets in the face of solid competition from Levono (CN), HP (US) and other rivals.

We are optimistic that a budget iMac would boost overall iMac shipments to grow 10-20% YoY in 2014.

More at MacRumors

Apple has always been a premium brand, so I'm somewhat skeptical that a low end iMac will appear next year. I suppose it's possible, but if it happens it will most likely just be the previous year's model with a price cut. That's how Apple has done it with the iPhone in the past, and it might work well for the iMac as well.

But if you want to chop off some of the cost of an iMac, you can already do it by buying a refurbished iMac from Amazon or directly from Apple.

The Media Obsession With Cheaper Apple Products

Speaking of cheaper Apple products, Forbes takes a look at the media's absurd obsession with the Apple's pricing.

Given the choice between going for high volume, or going for a higher margin, Apple turns towards the latter. That explains the thinking behind the iPhone 5c – it maintains the consumer price point, it increases Apple’s margin, and while it opens up the platform to new users it does not destroy any value in ‘Brand Apple’. Moving to a significantly cheaper handset would negate those unique selling points that can be found across all of Apple’s product range.

This doesn’t match up to the narrative that other companies choose to promote in marketing, so is it any wonder that there are countless column inches devoted to ‘Apple must release products that are cheaper?’ I expect to see more of them over the next week, and I expect Apple to disappoint everyone who has a similar expectation.

More at Forbes

I agree with Forbes on this, a lot of what I read about Apple's pricing seems to indicate that the writers are utterly clueless about Apple's business model.

The company has always been a premium brand, that's how it makes so much money. It doesn't want to compete at the low end, and this confuses many people. Apple wants profit share, not market share.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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