The rumour mills are going crazy right now, with website after website predicting what Apple will do in the 2012. Most recently I read on a site that Apple would introduce two new iPads in March, something I’ll get back to later. For now, think of this not as predictions of particular products but of general strategic and technological directions.

By (Mac talk with Magnus Nystedt)

Published: Sat 7 Jan 2012, 10:11 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:53 AM

If we forget about particular products and look at the big picture, Apple is coming out of a pretty traumatic 2011. Business was booming in every way imaginable but Steve Jobs passed away. Like it or not, Steve Jobs was an icon in business as well as technology and it must have been a touch time in the corridors of Apple’s Cupertino headquarters after the news broke.

That said, I think Tim Cook can put his own mark on Apple and do it with style. He will be constantly compared to Jobs but that is unfair. Cook has to be his own man but also continue with the best of Apple’s tradition. That’s a tricky balance to strike and I think it’ll be Cook’s main headache in the coming year.

It’s almost too easy to say that there will be a new iPhone launched in 2012. Chances are that we’ll finally see the iPhone 5 with radical redesign compared to the 4S. For sure, an iPad 3 is coming as well, mainly with a higher resolution display. Personally I doubt that Apple will go smaller with iPad and introduce one with a 7-inch display. I think they will stay with just one at 9.7-inches, just like the present one.

Portable Macs with become thinner and lighter. The design concept introduced with the latest MacBook Airs will cross over to MacBook Pro and we’ll see the optical drive dropped across the portable lineup. Then I’ll make a prediction about the Mac Pro as well and that is that we won’t see it updated. Basically, the Mac Pro line is going be discontinued by Apple.

There will be exciting things happening with Apple TV but there won’t be an actual TV from Apple. Instead I think the small Apple TV box will come out in a new version with updated interface — probably voice or motion controlled, or both.

I’ll finish with a mention of iCloud. This is where I think Apple can do any number of amazing things, probably more so than in terms of hardware, and I expect big things in 2012. What that involves, I can’t even imagine at this point, but I think it’s safe to say that Apple will continue to move existing services into the cloud as well as introducing new ones. It’s too early to see something like Google’s Chrome OS but based on Mac OS X or iOS, but that’s coming I think.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Apple will keep the momentum going in both software and hardware and that Tim Cook will grow into the new role. Now, let’s see what 2012 has in store for Apple and us.

Magnus Nystedt @mnystedt

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