Apple's iWatch and the Great Product Roadmap

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's ( AAPL) product road map is a topic that may receive more speculation than any subject in all of tech. With that in mind, some are expecting 2014 to be a very big year for the Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of the iPad and iPhone.

iPhone 6

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, he of the precarious Apple upgrade, says 2014 will indeed be a crucial year for Apple as the company lays out its next version of the iPhone, the iPhone 6.

Misek notes that the next phone will likely have a new design and a much bigger screen than its predecessor. A 4.8-inch screen is likely size. The iPhone 5s/5c has a 4-inch screen. "We discovered from Asian players that Apple is aggressively investing in OLED alongside its display partners," Misek wrote in his note. "Apparently Apple has begun to procure equipment for LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display."

Though Apple has been investing in OLED (organic light emitting diode) screens, Misek doesn't believe this is likely for the next version of the iPhone, and is likely to have a two step transition from moving to in-cell technology to on-cell, and then ultimately, on-cell OLED screens.


The next major product in Apple's road map is the oft-rumored iWatch. Misek is expecting a March launch for the product, though he notes it could be shifted. "We expect a $300 price point, 1.8" display, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth but no cellular."

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes that Apple could sell anywhere between 5 and 10 million iWatches in its first year of availability. "While we do not view the watch as a likely needle-mover for Apple in terms of revenue in 2014, we put it in a similar category as the television in that it could demonstrate Apple's ability to innovate (good for the multiple) and potentially lead to a more meaningful new product category in wearable tech," Musnter wrote in the note.

Munster differs slightly from Misek, noting that his survey of 799 US customers would pay $350 for the watch, compared to a $300 estimate for Misek.


The last major product for 2014 is something which may never see the light of day, despite the constant rumors swirling around it: the Apple television, or iTV.

Misek described the iTV as a "unicorn," noting that Apple started securing thousands of TV panels at the 55-inch, 60-inch and 65-inch levels. This typically means that a product launch would come within twelve to fifteen months. However, after having been burned once before, Misek is passing along the information.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has continued to stoke the fires of an Apple television product after former CEO Steve Jobs mentioned that he "finally cracked it," the idea of making television easier and simple for consumers. In an interview late last year with NBC's Brian Williams, Cook said that the television watching experience made him feel like he was in a time warp. "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told Williams at the end of the interview. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

>Contact by Email.