Apple is expected to start rolling out new products starting in the second quarter, says one informed analyst, including the much rumored iWatch, redesigned "iPhone 6," a 12-inch MacBook Air and a low-cost iMac.
According to a research note obtained by AppleInsider, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the third quarter is going to be a big one for Apple as the company is primed to release revamped iPad Airs and iPad minis, the iWatch in two sizes, an all-new 4.7-inch iPhone, an Apple TV upgrade, an all-new 12-inch MacBook and an update to the MacBook Pro lineup.
With the glut of new products, not to mention new product categories, Kuo expects the third quarter to be a hugely important time for Apple and how the public perceives its future.
"We believe the rumored iWatch will be Apple's most important product this year, carrying much more weight than iPhone 6," Kuo writes, adding, "as market feedback for the product should reveal whether Apple still has the ability to continue making game-changing products with Tim Cook at the helm."
If iWatch is a hit, Kuo believes that in five to ten years Apple's competition in the sector will no longer be tech companies, but fashion brand vendors.
The analyst says Apple's success hinges on five key factors: replacement demand from larger iPhones; whether the new iPads' minor upgrades will carry momentum in 2014; whether the all-new 12-inch MacBook Air will redefine the notebook user experience; how much low-price iMac can boost overall shipments; and App Store availability on Apple TV.