Apple’s Busy Year-End Could Include A Fitness Wearable, 12″ Retina MacBook And 4K Products

Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri both have claimed excitement about the fall, but we have yet to get a glimpse at the total product pipeline. New reports from 9to5Mac claim a whole host of new info around specific launch timelines, however, including a mid-September event and launch for the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, as well as late 2014 or early 2015 launches of OS X Yosemite, a 12-inch Retina MacBook, and Apple’s first 4K resolution desktop hardware.

Apple’s plans would see the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen revealed at an event mid-September, with the possible reveal of a 5.5-inch display iPhone at the same event, should it be far enough along in development. The new iPhone 6 is said to not only have a larger screen, but also sport thinner dimensions, and include some kind of sapphire-based ultra-durable material for its screen cover.

iOS 8 is also on track for a simultaneous release with the iPhone 6, according to 9to5Mac’s sources, with a final beta planned for Monday August 4 in order to give the iPhone 6 plenty of testing time on the shipping software. Additional features including a multitasking mode that lets apps run side-by-side on iPad and additional features for Maps including transit directions are said to be in the works for a later update, either iOS 8.1 or iOS 9.

In October, Apple is said to be planning to have a separate event at which it will debut and launch OS X Yosemite officially, after completion of the public beta which kicks off tomorrow. Apple is said to be planning a Golden Master (read: final preview) version of the OS X 10.10 release for around October 10, and then it will hit the Mac App Store around the end of the year. Apple is also said to be planning to reveal its wearable device at that time, which 9to5Mac describes as a ‘fitness and health wearable wristband,’ rather than using the popular press moniker of ‘iWatch.’ That could give a clue about how Apple plans to position the new device.

Apple’s new wearable device is likely the main focus for the October event, should it occur as reported, but sources speaking to 9to5Mac also suggest we’ll see new Mac hardware as well, including a new 12-inch MacBook with a Retina Display. This kind of machine has been rumored for months, and before now has been referred to as a new machine in the ultraportable Air line. Retina is a key selling point for the new design of Yosemite, as I noticed during my initial examination of the Preview.

It makes sense, then, that Apple is also rumored to be introducing new 4K-capable desktop hardware at the same time, in the form of either an iMac or a standalone Thunderbolt display. This has also been something we’ve heard about in previous rumors, and it’s a feature many Mac users have expressed interest in seeing.

What will be interesting to watch is the price point on these machines. Thus far, getting Retina or high-resolution OS X devices to the point where they’re generally affordable has alluded Apple, though it has recently dropped the price of entry on Retina MacBook Pros. It’s unlikely the desktop will be that cheap to start with, but the 12-inch machine could offer ups some surprises in affordability – a smaller display should theoretically be cheaper to produce than those already available.

For now, these are still just rumors, but 9to5Mac has an extremely solid record when it comes to sniffing out this information. Apple will also be facing a lot of scrutiny come the end of this year, because of the relative paucity of its product launches in 2014 thus far, so a splashy launch cycle involving this much hardware could be just the ticket.