iOS Phablet is “Strong Possibility” as We Await Apple’s Next Big Thing

Rumors of an Apple phablet reached new heights last week, amidst a downward spiral for Apple stock, word that the iPhone maker is facing declining demand for its products.  For a fickle consumer world accustomed to standard-setting devices from a company made famous by the visionary Steve Jobs, it’s easy to feel Apple owes us fresh designs and revolutionary products.  SiliconAngle contributing editor John Casaretto appeared on last Friday’s NewsDesk segment to discuss these bubbling expectations for Apple, which is rumored to be working on a new phablet dubbed by Chinese media as the “iPhone Math.”  See Casaretto’s full analysis below.

The handset is comparable with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 because it reportedly comes in a 4.8-inch form factor, and features an 8-megapixel camera.

Casaretto starts by addressing the name. He says that something was likely lost in translation, and notes that that many in the blogosphere share his view: the device is being referred to as “iPhone Max,”  “iPhone Plus,” and pretty much everything in between except the name that was given to it in the original report.

His take is that there is a strong possibility that an iOS phablet is on the horizon, noting two trends around emerging rumors. For starters, many expect that next generation devices will ship with an 8-megapixel camera, and there’s the fact that Apple has recently been quicker to address shifts in consumer trends. Another critical piece of the puzzle is that the phonemaker’s biggest manufacturing partners are all located in China, and strong-worded NDAs are not always enough to keep more daring individuals from going public with the news.

Casaretto moves on and tackles recent data that suggests Apple shipped five million more devices in the fourth quarter of 2012 than it did a year earlier. He says that number is certainly significant, but adds that the number of units shipped is usually a less accurate indicator than the number of units sold.

Casaretto briefly touches on the issues with iOS 6 before addressing yet another rumor, also from Chinese sources, that Apple is gearing up to launch the “iTV” later this year.  He says that it’s a possibility, especially in light of the recent news that an HBO app will soon launch for the Apple TV set-top box.