Apple has a lot crawling out of its pipeline, and badly needs to refresh its smartphone and tablet lineups with the advent of new-generation products by companies typically percieved to be its competitors, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and HTC.
Among the things stuck up its pipeline are the iOS 7 mobile operating system, first revealed at WWDC '13, and a forking of its smartphone lineup, between the premium iPhone 5S, and the iPhone 5C for the masses. Neither is a truer successor to the iPhone 5 than the other. Speaking of definite successors, we have 5th generation iPad, and 2nd generation iPad mini, which are next-generations for Apple's 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch category-defining products.
A portion of 2013 running between September and October, running between two quarters, could prove crucial for Apple. A lot of dates between the two are being purported by the press as "launch dates" for upcoming Apple products, which are each both right and wrong.
- September 10, 2013: Apple is expected to formally announce iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, with no immediate retail availability (soft-launch).
- September 16, 2013: iOS 7 will begin rolling out as over-the-air (OTA) software updates for iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5. Updates for eligible iPad and iPad mini models are likely delayed. OTA updates vary by carrier and region.
- September 20, 2013: First orders of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C begin shipping out.
- October 25, 2013: Apple is expected to announce 5th generation iPad and 2nd generation iPad mini, which ship with iOS 7 out of the box.
Apple's Mac pipeline is equally clogged. The company is expected to announce a fleet of new MacBook Pro notebooks, iMac desktops, and the curious-looking new Mac Pro, each with the company's new OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" operating system. No definite dates on those, though.