Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to release many new products in the third quarter of 2014, including a 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display and a cheaper iMac, according to an analyst.
Ming Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said, in a research note on Wednesday, that Apple is likely to launch a new low-cost iMac as early as this quarter, while a revamped thinner and lighter 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display could be released by the end of this year. Kuo also mentioned that the new Mac duo will be “bright spots” in Apple’s 2014 product lineup, AppleInsider reported.
Kuo first predicted the thinner 12-inch MacBook Air in October, saying:
We expect the unprecedented 12” model will boast both the portability of the 11” model, and productivity of the 13” model. The high resolution display will also offer the outstanding visual experience of the Retina MacBook Pro. The offering will likely be lighter and slimmer than the existing MacBook Air to further highlight ease of portability in the cloud computing era. We think the form factor will showcase a much improved clamshell structure, and that it will redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.
In addition to a thinner form factor, Kuo also said that the new 12-inch MacBook Air could feature a fan-less design, a new buttonless trackpad and a higher resolution display.
Among desktops, Ku said that the less expensive version of the iMac will help Apple better compete with rival companies such as Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) in growing markets like China.
According to Kuo, the new model will help iMac shipments grow 23 percent in 2014 to 4.8 million units.
Other devices that Apple is likely to launch this year include two iPhone 6 models featuring 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, two iWatch models with 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED display, iPad Air 2 with Touch ID, a new iPad mini with Retina display and an upgraded Apple TV set-top box with an App Store and motion-control technology.