NEW YORK (
) -- 2011 has been full of rumors about the elusive
. Product launches and potential delays from the tight-lipped iPhone maker are speculated about at a mind-blowing pace by industry experts and bloggers as consumers eagerly await any news about the latest and greatest gadget.
Here are five of our favorite rumors about Apple from the past year.
Industry experts and bloggers spread rumors about Apple products at a mind-blowing pace, and 2011 was no exception.
Apple is reportedly
developing a full blown television set to be released towards the end of 2012
. The product would be a departure from Apple's previous foray into the TV market, which was a set top box launched in 2006. It will reportedly come in both 32-inch and 37-inch screen models.
Rumors about the TV started flying after Apple founder Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he had "finally cracked" the code on developing an integrated TV that could sync across multiple Apple products.
The long-awaited iPhone 5 may finally be a reality. After the device failed to materialize in 2011, it may emerge next fall, according to reports. If rumors are true, the totally redesigned iPhone 5 will have a larger display than its predecessor and could feature an improved Siri, a faster processor and near field communication technology allowing consumers to make payments with their phone.
Apple may unveil two newly updated iPads in January, according to reports. With three versions of the iPad, Apple could broaden its offering with entry level, mid-range and high-end products. The move will reportedly help Apple to compete with
Kindle Fire as well as mid-range devices.
The new iPad models are said to have 9.7-inch screens, like the current model, but with a higher screen resolution.
, Apple is also rumored to be developing a smaller device with a 7.85-inch screen. According to reports, the product may be launched in the latter half of 2012 in response to an influx of larger-screened smartphones coming onto the market as well as the success of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet.
Apple to Pay Dividend
Despite an $80 billion cash hoard and an extremely profitable track record, Apple hasn't issued a dividend to its shareholders in years (the last was on Dec. 15, 1995). But new CEO Tim Cook could usher in a new era at Apple, which some analysts and money managers believe
could include a dividend down the road
Cook said during his first quarterly conference call with analysts in October that the cash "wasn't burning a hole" in Apple's pocket, and he wasn't "religious" about holding or not holding cash.
--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.
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