December 23, 2013
Apple CEO Has Big Plans For 2014: Leaked Memo Sparks Speculation About New iDevices
Bryan P. Carpender for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past twelve months and look ahead to the upcoming year. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is doing exactly that – and teasing some major developments in 2014.
In a memo to all Apple employees, Cook waxes sentimental as he thanks them for all their hard work, correlating it to those special holiday moments their customers will experience when they unwrap an iDevice.
“This holiday season, tens of millions of people around the world, from all walks of life, are experiencing Apple products for the first time. Those moments of surprise and delight are magical, and they’re all made possible by your hard work. As many of us prepare to celebrate the holidays with our loved ones, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve achieved together over the past year.”
Cook goes on to give a rundown of major accomplishments in 2013, including the introduction of the iPhones 5s and 5c, which helped extend their lead in the smartphone market. He also mentions the debuts of the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina display, as well as the newly available and radically redesigned Mac Pro, which begins shipping this week. As if those weren’t enough, Apple also marked the milestone of the 50 billionth download on the App Store.
While it’s good that Cook reminds employees of their community and charity involvement and its commitment to diversity and non-discrimination, it’s the opening sentence of the final paragraph of the memo that has everyone outside the company buzzing.
“We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love.”
What could Cook be referring to? There are several projects that have long been rumored that might actually see the light of day in 2014.
The one on everyone’s minds is the iWatch, which many speculate would be a wearable wrist-computer. Earlier this year, several patents awarded to Apple hinted that they were working on wearable technology.
In recent months, Apple has made several strategic hires of people who would be key to launching such a product. The most interesting hire was Paul Deneve, the former CEO of high-fashion giant Yves Saint Laurent. Deneve is currently working on “special projects” – and he reports directly to Tim Cook. It’s highly likely that one of those special projects could be the iWatch.
2014 will almost certainly bring us a new iPhone, which industry analysts anticipate will feature a new design, new processor and a larger 4.9-inch display. Speculation and rumors abound with alleged release dates ranging from May to October, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Tech junkies are still eagerly awaiting the arrival of Apple’s long-rumored television set, which some have affectionately dubbed the 'iTV.' Although we keep hearing about Apple’s desire to expand its TV product offering, we have yet to see anything come to fruition in this category. Perhaps 2014 will be the year.
Finally, there’s the bigger, badder version of the iPad – possibly to be called the iPad Pro. While few details are available at this time, Apple has been considering a larger iPad for some time.
It’s likely that the iPad Pro, complete with a 12.9-inch display, will be a hybrid device – part laptop, part tablet – similar to Microsoft’s Surface. Apple’s interest in a super-sized iPad is likely driven by the fact that traditional notebook PC’s are being replaced by tablets at an ever-increasing rate. Not only could the iPad Pro make excellent use of its hybrid technology, it could also specifically target the educational market in North America.
So, while Mr. Cook promises big plans that customers are going to love, we’ll just have to wait and see what those big plans are. Given the strategic new hires, a slew of recently awarded patents and the industry trends, there’s a chance that 2014 may just be the year that Apple turns some of these rumors into reality.