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What Does Apple Have in Store for 2013?

Evan Niu, CFA
November 21, 2012

With 2012 winding down and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) entering the holiday shopping season with all sorts of new toys to tempt consumers, it's about time to start wondering what the Mac maker has in store for 2013. Before his death, Steve Jobs had reportedly left Apple with a solid four years of products in the pipeline. That leaves us with three more years of gadgets that Jobs had already cooked up for Tim Cook to execute on.

Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster is always up for offering up some predictions. Let's see what Munster thinks Apple has up its sleeve for the next year or so.

March iMadness
As if Apple didn't already infuriate some buyers of the third-generation iPad by releasing the fourth-generation model just six months later, Munster thinks that the company will release an iPad Mini in March that features a Retina display.

The smaller tablet's biggest weakness is easily its lackluster display, especially when compared to the panels on the competing AMZN) Kindle Fire HD and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus 7, so there is plenty of reason to address this common complaint sooner rather than later. The only problem is that updating the product so quickly risks angering early adopters that promptly snapped up the first-generation model that may have expected annual upgrades.

Rumors have already surfaced that Apple has tapped AU Optronics (NYSE: AUO) for 7.9-inch Retina panels with a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. With Apple's six-month cycle for the fourth-generation iPad, it's conceivable that the company would do the same with the iPad Mini.

Munster also thinks that Apple will finally open up its Apple TV platform for third-party developers, which would allow it to begin bolstering its TV app ecosystem ahead of a full-blown Apple TV set. Google TV is ahead in this respect, as Big G opened up its TV platform to developers long ago.

Apple might also launch an iTunes radio service, which could be a big threat to Pandora (NYSE: P). Pandora shares got crushed by 20% in September just on speculation that Apple was working on such an offering. As a first-mover with a large following, Pandora has a lot to lose if Apple steps into its ring, especially since it's not even consistently profitable yet.

Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Apple hosts its Worldwide Developer Conference, or WWDC, every June and should outline major operating system updates. At this year's WWDC, Apple updated its entire noteboo