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Sorry fanbois, no supersize Apple fondleslabs for you

Analyst reckons cheaper iMacs and hi-res iPads will come from Cupertino next year

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A well known Apple soothsayer has predicted that the fruity firm is cooking up a cheaper iMac, a new size of Macbook and a fondleslab armed with higher-resolution display.

However, KGI Securities anaylst Ming-Chi Kuo dismissed industry talk of the arrival of a chunkier sixth generation iPad, which might be too big and clumsy for vain fanbois to cart around in their trendy satchels. Instead he suggested that Cupertino would aim to boost the fondleslab's screen resolution by up to 40 per cent.

"Contrary to speculation that next year's iPad... may come in a 12-inch form, or larger, we think it will not change from the current 9.7-inch format as we think a 12-inch iPad would not provide a good mobility experience given today's technology limitations," he said.

The analyst also claimed Apple will release a smaller, 12 inch Macbook in calendar '14 with a clamshell design. According to a report on a Mac rumour site, he suggested that the new iMac would replace the ultra-thin Macbook air range.

"We expect the unprecedented 12” model will boast both the portability of the 11” model, and productivity of the 13” model. The high resolution display will also offer the outstanding visual experience of the Retina MacBook Pro.

"The offering will likely be lighter and slimmer than the existing MacBook Air to further highlight ease of portability in the cloud computing era. We think the form factor will showcase a much improved clamshell structure, and that it will redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air."

Lighter and slimmer are generally good bets for next generation systems but whether the new machines will signal another redefinition of computing seems debatable.

The analyst claimed Apple had made the price of the last all-in-one iMac far too high, scaring off cash-poor wannabe fanbois. This claim would appear to be backed up by a recent spate of reports which found that Apple's back to school sales were either bad, or abysmal.

With this in mind, Kuo expects Apple to knock down the price and bring out a bargain basement iMac.

"Our surveys indicate that Apple's last iMac model...shipped fewer-than-expected units in the worldwide market. We think the price was set too high," he continued. "We thus think Apple may offer a budget iMac model to push shipments among non-US markets in the face of solid competition from Lenovo (CN), HP (US) and other rivals."

Kuo has form on Apple predictions, having forecast the arrival of a Retina iMac this year and the demise of the 17" iMac ®

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