Apple has yet confirm its iPhone 6 release date plans this 2014 but one analyst is convinced that the tech giant is indeed gearing up for a major makeover of its flagship smartphone plus other devices, owing to the company's notable spending spike in the third quarter of the year.
According to Apple Insider, Apple has committed to spend some $21 billion in Q3 2014 that will finance ongoing efforts and plans that cover advertising, manufacture, other services and research & design, with the latter cornering the bulk of the total expenditure.
Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley said in a new research note that Apple's total outlay grew by 46 per cent in the past 12 months and by 36 per cent from the last quarter. This suggests of "major product ramps," in the months ahead, the analyst told Apple Insider.
Upgrades of the company's existing product line ups and new categories such as the rumoured iWatch can be expected soon, Huberty said, adding that these fresh initiatives are obviously designed to fuel immediate and long-term growth.
Upgraded MacBook Pros
One likely beneficiary of the giant Apple investment is the MacBook Pro that 9to5Mac said is getting the bump up treatment "in the near future." The Apple-focused blog site picked up an image from a Chinese forum, which apparently revealed that the 15-inch Retina MacBook will be specced up to make it faster.
The laptop will be powered by Intel's Core i7 processing chip and 16GB of RAM. Going by the leaked screen shot, the jump is across the board, 9to5Mac added.
In refreshing its iPads, Apple is rumored to again redefine the tablet market. While the iPad Air is believed to deliver minor updates from last year, the focus will be on two devices. The iPad Mini is said to become the iPad Air Mini, its thickness to be trimmed down by up to 30 per cent.
It is speculated too that a 13-inch iPad Pro is in the works with productivity as its core feature.
First iOS wearable device
Another growth booster for Apple in the last few months of 2014 is the so-called iWatch, Huberty said. The iOS smartwatch is touted to have stand-alone features and is designed to pair with the iPhone for optimal functions that include health monitoring.
The next iPhone
The biggest 2014 headliner for Apple, however, is the iPhone 6 that according to Huberty will ship out in big numbers - up to 80 million units by the end of December this year, with the likelihood of swiftly clearing the same.
On release date, the iPhone 6 will come in two screen profiles - a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch - and the smaller build is expected to rollout earlier, likely between September 19 and 26 2014, while the phablet model could be delayed to January 2015.