2012 Holiday iLineup

This is less of a prediction and more of a plausible desire of the Fall Event and its outcomes.

  • $99 iPod Touch 8GB (single core A5, ATV style)
  • $199 iPad Mini 8GB (A5, XGA display, WiFi) AKA the Fuck You model
  • $299 iPad Mini with Retina Display 16GB (A5X, Retina Display, LTE)
  • $399 iPad 2
  • $499 iPad 3

Let’s talk realistically about the new iPod Touch. It has to exist. It serves a very important purpose as the iOS gateway drug. So how on earth could Apple get the price down $99? Simply by not changing it (same shitty non IPS screen, useless cameras) but “upgrade” it to those half-A5s they’re putting in AppleTVs. Keep in mind this is the 8GB model for $99. 64GB for $199, 128GB for $299 – Classic laid to rest. The Touch has room for two NAND chips so it’s realistic to expect it to have twice the capacity as the iPhones. The 8GB version is the “penalty” for wanting a $99 device and in fact will further encourage future purchases as users want more. I’m not going to speculate on the Nano/Shuffle at this time.

A big question that remains is if Apple will make a non-retina iPad mini just for the sake of the $199 price point. They’ve already used “with Retina Display” as a model differentiator/title for the MacBook Pro so it actually seems more likely now than it did prior to WWDC. This device will similarly carry the 8GB “penalty”. It will be easy for users to see the $299 version with twice as much storage AND a retina display as the better value.

It’s worth reiterating that the panels on the iPad mini will be iPhone panels cut larger. So take an iPhone, extend it to XGA/@2X and that’s how big it will be (which is 7 inch ish). Someone on stage will say something to the effect of the retina display not being around when Steve made his comments on 7 inch devices. They’ll talk about how it has the highest pixel density of any 7 inch device, 300+ppi, just like iPhones, and how it’s the best reading experience. Then they’ll talk about how children have better eyes and smaller fingers and announce the cheap non-retina model for budget conscious buyers like schools (but everyone else too). Cue heartwarming video, Tim getting choked up, it’s time to talk iPhone 5.

Actually, switch the order. Announce the XGA one first to a bunch of yawns, then announce that you can have a retina display on it for a small premium.

Since the iPod touch announcement will be first, it won’t have any new features the iPhone 5 is to gain, such as a different screen shape. The two will continue to grow farther apart feature and spec-wise.