Apple (s aapl) will be rolling out overhauls across its product lines in 2012, according to a new report from DigiTimes that cites sources in Apple’s upstream supply chain. The report mentions the iPad, iMac, iPhone and MacBook Air specifically, which means that we could see significantly changed versions of all of Apple’s core products in 2012.
Of course, Apple pretty much always introduces annual refreshes for all of its product lines on a more or less annual basis, but the report suggests that these won’t be the usual spec bumps. Instead, the changes suggested by the phrase “completely overhaul” indicate that significant hardware redesigns might be in store across the board.
The report says the iPad is the closest to completion, with key component inventory for a third-generation iPad expected to reach sufficient volume to produce 2 million units by Dec. 2011. That would suggest an early 2012 introduction of an iPad 3. There are also two more iPad prototypes in the pipeline, too, according to supplier sources, though no details about those future devices were divulged.
Though the iPad 3 might arrive a bit early, the next iPhone and iMac probably won’t make an appearance until the second half of 2012. Now that the latest iPhone saw an October release, I’d expect Apple to target that time of year for subsequent releases.
The iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini all haven’t seen significant case redesigns since at least 2010, so the two-year difference that 2012 represents does make sense in terms of Apple’s previous update schedule for major refreshes. The iPhone has had the same design for two years running, and while the iPad has changed a lot on the outside, big changes to things like screen technology that people were looking for didn’t arrive. The Mac Pro also hasn’t seen any kind of update since July 2010 or a major redesign since its introduction, but recent reports suggest that may be because Apple is quietly putting the machine out to pasture.