Usually the hardware and software are upgraded, and new apps for 2012 are made on a more powerful platform. Some models this year could include Apps that may not be available for 2011 or older models.
Some models this year also have voice and gesture control, and come with cameras built in for Skype and other camera features. Until the models are released, however, I don't have specific differences in the models available today.
Does that help a little?
Would someone be able to tell me the differences between the 2011 Samsung PN60D8000 and the 2012 Samsung PN60E7000 and 8000. I can get the 2011 PN60D8000 for a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 2012 60E7000 and about $800 cheaper than the 2012 60E8000. I'm not sure if the new ones will be worth the extra $$$. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks