Report Details Apple’s 2019 Product Plans

Posted on February 18, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Hardware, Mobile, iOS, Mac and macOS, Music + Videos, Apple Watch with 43 Comments

A trusted source says that Apple is readying a 16-inch MacBook Pro, a more modular Mac Pro, a three-camera iPhone, and more for 2019.

Depending on the publication, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is described as “reliable,” “noted,” “well-informed,” “spot-on,” or “a favorite.” And when you combine that with the fact that the Apple community is in desperate need for good news given the recent iPhone sales implosion, it’s understandable that they’ve rallied around the notion that things are going to get better this year. Certainly, 2019 does look like a busy year for Apple.

Ming-Chi told 9to5Mac that the consumer electronics giant will release the following products this year:

iPhone. In the second half of 2019, Apple will ship three new iPhone models that map to today’s iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, with 5.8- (OLED), 6.1- (OLED), and 6.5-inch (LED) displays. All will include a Lightning port and not the USB-C port that was previously rumored, he says, and each will provide the same humongous notch as the previous versions, indicating that Apple is again doing a second “S” year-type upgrade. The big changes include ultra-wideband (UWB) support, frosted glass casings (similar to the Google Pixel 3, presumably), bilateral wireless charging (so you can charge AirPods 2 with your iPhone wirelessly), improved Face ID, larger batteries, and a three-camera design (possibly only on the Max version).

iPad. The “normal” 9.7-inch iPad will be replaced with a 10.2-inch version, presumably one in the same basic size form factor but with smaller bezels. The new iPad mini will come with an upgraded processor, but will not be entirely modern and will utilize the same basic form factor as its aging predecessor. Apple will also release two new iPad Pro models this year with newer A-series processors.

MacBook Pro. Since releasing an all-new MacBook Pro lineup in 2016, Apple has in unprecedented fashion updated it several times, and that continues in 2019. Apple will finally let 13-inch MacBook Pro customers upgrade to 32 GB of RAM, just like a big boy computer. And it will introduce a third 16- or 16.5-inch model too.

Mac Pro. Apple’s embarrassingly non-upgradeable Mac Pro will finally be replaced with a more modular and more easily upgradeable design that it first promised in late 2017. It will also deliver a 31.6-inch “6K3K” display for the new Mac Pro that features a Mini LED-like backlight design with “outstanding picture quality.”

Apple Watch. Nothing major here, but Apple Watch will ship in a new ceramic casing design in 2019 and its pseudo-ECG capabilities will come to more countries. (Series 3 had a ceramic option but the newer Series 4 does not, yet.)

iPod touch. Apple will finally update the iPod touch with a new model featuring a more modern A-series processor.

Accessories. The long-promised AirPower wireless charging pad and eagerly-anticipated AirPods 2 will ship in the first half of 2019. AirPods 2 will support improved Bluetooth capabilities and wireless charging.

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Comments (43)

43 responses to “Report Details Apple’s 2019 Product Plans”

  1. Greg Green

    How long does it take to make a modular Mac Pro!? Commission a fancy case, distinct motherboard, slap in a chip, ram and ssd and sell it. PC notebook vendors do this in less than a year or so. Sheesh, MS and Apple aren’t what they used to be.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Greg Green:

      They probably only have one person working on it.

    • Hoomgar

      In reply to Greg Green:

      It's truly sad isn't it?  How hard can it be?  The extra time is most surely spent deciding how to best approach the public and fan base with appropriate marketing and hype to make sure you are going to be willing to drop that much coin even after the extended wait.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to Hoomgar:

        It would be interesting to see how much is engineering and how much is artistry/marketing. I suspect it’s at least a 30/70 split respectively.

        • StoneJack

          In reply to Greg Green:

          Well, any PC is a modular in a sense that you can replace any module (power, CPU, GPU) anytime you want. Apple probably wants to incorporate eGPU to make the chassis truly modular though some say that eGPU is still a bit slower that its connected directly to MB.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to Greg Green:

      It takes a while to design every module in an otherwise generic PC to be completely incompatible with every industry standard module so while you can upgrade all the components you can only do so with Apple branded "modules".

  2. david.paige

    The only think I want is an updated Small Elegant phone. We're not going to get it, but one can dream. I'd like to see (in decreasing order of importance)

    1. Updated chip
    2. Waterproofing
    3. Updated front shooter


    10 Bezel-less screen

    11 FaceID

  3. dontbe evil

    apple fans get ready to save at least 2000$ for the cheapest apple fashion device and but it to help your beloved company!!!

  4. provision l-3

    Not much here that is really a revelation. iPhone, watch, iPad have all been a yearly upgrade cycle for awhile. Airpower and Mac Pro were both pre announced, I guess the news is that this is the year? So AirPods 2, display and iPod touch constitute the big revelations?

    • Hoomgar

      In reply to provision l-3:  This is VERY typical of Apple.  They could build a nationwide parade around an 'innovative' solution they have added on the newest iCRAP, that everyone else released 5 years ago.  And the pundits will pay 1000 a ticket to be there.

      • provision l-3

        In reply to Hoomgar:

        Sorry bub, I'm not emotionally invested in the company (or any other really) one way or the other so I'm not looking to fan the irrational hate flames. I was just pointing out that anyone that vaguely paid attention over the last decade could have predicted half of these products were going to come out.

  5. dcdevito

    A 32GB MacBook Pro: $3300USD.

  6. gpitman

    2H19... ummm where have I heard that before, should change that or the release date could keep getting pushed back. Disappointed they are not moving to USB-C, having just bought a new iPad Pro and will need a new phone in the near future.

  7. michael_babiuk

    Regarding Paul's Apple Watch comment in which he references the Series 4 Watches ECG feature as a feature having "...pseudo-ECG capabilities", well, IMO there is nothing "pseudo" about that capability.

    It is a medical diagnostic tool that can AND HAS alerted wearers to life threatening heart conditions. There are only a few caveats to its capabilities, such as, it requires a physician to interpret the ECG recordings accurately and that those under the age of 22 with a current atrial fibrillation heart condition should not use this Apple Watch feature. Further, Apple has received FDA clearance (rather than approval which requires clinical trials and MHRA approval - a long bureaucratic process). Again, Apple's ECG capability is not a pseudo capability but rather a feature based upon proven scientific principals.

    Oh, BTW, I just read an article published by "The Information" that details how Huawei tried to copy Apple's ECG sensors thru third party vendors suppling those watch sensors to Apple. Apparently, the Apple vendor approached by Huawei industrial spies wouldn't play ball and, alas, for the time being, Huawei will be forced to come up with their own "pseudo" ECG sensor hardware/software combo. I guess the world is still waiting for that Huawei bit of innovation.

    • provision l-3

      In reply to Michael_Babiuk:

      When Paul first reported about the Series 4 he was under this mistaken impression that it only had one electrode and therefore couldn't do an ECG. I'm guessing he has not caught up to the fact that there are two (one in the crown and one on the bottom) and that is why he is sticking with the "pseudo ECG" stance. His conclusion would be correct if he wasn't misinformed.

  8. bart

    I am sure all the products will be top notch quality again. That said, where it comes to product innovation….meh.

    Simply can't get excited about this list. Who knows Apple will prove me wrong

  9. jimchamplin

    Why did a new Mac Pro take any time at all? They already had toolings and designs for the big aluminum box. Why not just sell an updated model in that case during the interim?

  10. Pierre Masse

    Where are the new iPhone SE and the low cost MacBook?

  11. locust infested orchard inc

    The World awaits with bated breath later in the year for the astonishing magnificence and superiority of the awesome iNotch v2.

  12. Daishi

    In the second half of 2019, Apple will ship three new iPhone models that map to today’s iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, with 5.8- (OLED), 6.1- (OLED), and 6.5-inch (LED) displays”

    So I guess I’ll be getting a shiny new iPhone 8 in July then

  13. djross95

    Sounds like a pretty decent year with the exception of no iMac. And they'd better fix their trouble-prone laptop keyboards, I'd never buy one with the current flawed design.

  14. wright_is

    So, the iPhone will use the case from the Pixel 3 and the charging introduced on the Hauwei Mate 20 Pro and 3 cameras, also Hauwei, but less than Samsung's budget smartphones. Larger batteries, like Hauwei. So, still playing catch-up.

    Improving Face ID is a good move though.

    The monitor sounds impressive.

  15. maethorechannen

    That infographic hurts my eyes.

  16. glenn8878

    At least upgrade to 2 cameras for the XR iPhone.

  17. iantrem

    Given how much they ramped up the Mac Mini price, wonder what the Apple Tax will be on the new iPods?

  18. StevenLayton

    Curious to know where the iPod Touch fits into the product line. Who is this aimed at?

    • Patrick3D

      In reply to StevenLayton:

      Easier to sell to kids from a privacy perspective than a phone, also less expensive. If they're smart they will offer an LTE data-only version as well to allow kids to chat with their parents via FaceTime "in case of an emergency". It would also allow parents to track their kids location. If they can price it less than an iPad it should sell easily.

      • Skolvikings

        In reply to Patrick3D:

        As a parent, the phone/sms features of an iPhone are not my main concern. It's all the stuff the kids can do online that bother me more. The same things a kid with an iPod Touch can do.

    • mattbg

      In reply to StevenLayton:

      There's a rumour that it'll be positioned as an entry-level gaming device in conjunction with a possible Apple gaming service.

      It's the most affordable entry point into the iOS world and doesn't require a data plan. I know kids that have iPod Touch, really love it for gaming and other things, and can't wait for a new one. It's like a smartphone for people who aren't old enough to be given a smartphone. These are kids that would otherwise play XBox at home.

      If they are going to keep the iPod Touch as a going concern then they likely need to update the processor so that it can keep up with ongoing iOS updates and other rumours suggest that it may only get a CPU update with little else changed (not even Touch ID - the current Touch still has a physical home button without Touch ID).

      It's also excellent as a music device. It's much smaller and thinner than an iPhone. And it still has a headphone jack.

    • jf-nyc

      In reply to StevenLayton:

      It would make sense if they killed the iPod touch and instead released an iPhone classic for $199. Think A9 chip, Touch ID, Apple Pay, 32gb, etc.

  19. blackcomb

    The new display looks promising.