Apple’s stock skyrocketed in 2011, following the company’s record Q4 performance. Many reports claimed this was solely the iPhone 4S’s doing, which has already outsold its predecessor by over 70 per cent. It’s an interesting theory – but it misses the point.
What’s more likely is that it’s a combination of everything – the iPhone, the iPad, the iPod and the Apple PC – and, of course, the unprecedented power of company’s global brand. Looking back over the past couple of years it would seem that Apple has now settled into something of a rhythm, releasing a new iPhone and a new iPad once a year as well as a couple of iOS updates.
We don’t think 2012 will be any different, and Tim Cook will no doubt be eager to keep this dizzying momentum going for as long as possible. And while nothing lasts forever, 2012 is still shaping up to be quite a year for technology – especially in the world of Apple.
Here is a list of everything we expect to see from Apple this year and how we think it will rate.
iOS 5.1 (February/March)
What will come first, the iPad 3 or the launch of iOS5.1? At this point in time no one really knows. One school of thought claims that Apple will do two separate events – one in February for the launch of iOS 5.1 and another in March for the iPad 3. The other says Apple will host a single event, most likely in late February or early March, and launch both the iPad 3 and iOS5.1 simultaneously.
According to reports there will be additional functionality added to Siri in iOS5.1, such as the ability to interact with device Settings and other ‘select’ applications, as well a fix for that battery bug that has been plaguing iPhone 4S users the globe over, as well as a new keyboard for email with an easy to access ‘@’ symbol.
We’ve also heard reports of that Apple has made some minor improvements to PhotoStream and has also added the ability to use iTunes Match over 3G. That’s just about all we know about iOS5.1 at present – but you can expect to hear lots more about it as we approach the end of the month.
On a personal note, we’d also like to see Siri-powered UK-based Maps integration in place inside iOS5.1. Siri-led navigation would be a big USP for Apple too, competing with Nokia’s excellent Drive application that’s present inside ithe Finnish manufacturer's Lumia handsets.
There’ll no doubt be plenty of additional extras inside iOS5.1 that has not yet leaked online, such as tweaks to the camera application and the usual security updates. But as usual Apple is keeping things very hush-hush. It doesn’t really matter though – there’s not long to wait now anyway.
iPad 3 (March)
Despite the absolute plethora of Android-powered tablet devices currently on the market, Apple was, at the end of Q4 2011, still the number one tablet manufacturer on the planet – albeit by a smaller margin than in 2010.
According to Strategy Analytics, Apple sold 15.4 million iPad devices in Q4 of 2011, securing itself 57.6 per cent of the market. Google’s Android platform secured second place with 39.1 per cent, according to the same report, illustrating rapid year-on-year growth.
But is this really that surprising with literally hundreds of tablet devices now using Google’s Android operating system? No. It’s an inevitable fact of life. Android powers more products than Apple’s iOS platform does. Of course it’s going to be bigger.