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5 Big Apple Releases to Expect in 2012

New products and major updates are coming down the pipeline

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Apple ReleasesAfter years of consecutive record-breaking quarters, it seems a bit like pointing at the moon to say that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is going to have a successful 2012. Consumer excitement for the company’s products remains high. Wall Street remains rapt by the company as well. Despite a few months of wiggling, it’s not unrealistic to think AAPL shares could very well hit $500.

Is the company’s momentum guaranteed to continue into 2012? After all, 2011 has been a year of refinement rather exciting new goods. The company’s most successful products — like the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air laptops — saw new releases throughout the year, but all were only incremental upgrades over previous products. Even Apple’s major software release for the year, the new laptop and desktop operating system Lion, is an iterative product that brings traditional computers closer in line with the company’s portables in terms of use.

2012 will not be another year of merely refinement. Much as 2010 was marked by the release of bold new releases — particularly the original iPad — next year will see Apple release a number of new devices sure to capture the attention of excited consumers. Here are five big Apple releases to expect in 2012:

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