What a great year for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)! Of course, I’m talking about the company itself, not AAPL stock, which ended 2015 in the red. With the introduction of the highly anticipated “Apple Watch,” a new 12-inch “MacBook,” the “iPad Pro,” “Apple Pay,” and “Apple Music” last year, it makes you wonder just what Apple could bring to us in the future.
So, let’s take a look at seven exciting products to expect from Apple in 2016 and beyond. (The last one is probably what you’re most looking forward to!)
Apple Watch 2
Apple fans had been looking forward to the Apple Watch for a long time before the company finally released it in April of 2015.
Since its launch, the Apple Watch has received some stellar reviews. Although the company has yet to report its sales figures for the gadget, it was estimated that the Apple Watch had a massive 80% share of the smartwatch market and its first-year sales are expected to come in around 21 million units. (Source: “Who’s Got Time for an Apple Watch?” Fortune, December 10, 2015.)
With such a great reception for the first Apple Watch, Apple is likely to launch its second-generation smartwatch sometime in 2016, especially since competitors around the world are starting to bring out new smartwatch models.
Although the exact release date is yet to be determined for the “Apple Watch 2,” it will likely be announced in March and released in April 2016—about 12 months after the release of the first-generation watch.
Rumors are saying that the Apple Watch 2 might be a stand-alone device, meaning it can function without an iPhone. Apple’s competitor Samsung has released its newest smartwatch “Gear S2,” which can connect directly to the cellular network and doesn’t need a “Galaxy” phone to function.
Despite the success of the “iPhone 6,” “6 Plus,” “6s,” and “6s Plus,” these smartphones are quite pricey. Consumers who want a less expensive version of these iPhones might have something to look forward to—the “iPhone 6c.”
The specs are expected to be less impressive than its full-fledged counterparts: the 6c would not have 3D Touch or the high-resolution camera of the 6s and 6s Plus, and it would likely also have a smaller screen size. However, it is expected to feature a colored metal case, Touch ID, and might even have an A9 processor.
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
iPhones have been the bread and butter of Apple’s business. In the fourth quarter of Apple’s fiscal 2015, iPhone sales totaled a whopping $32.2 billion, contributing to more than 60% of the company’s total revenue. (Source: “Apple Reports Record Fourth Quarter Results,” Apple Inc., October 27, 2015.)
2015 was the “S” model year in which Apple released the iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus. Therefore, in 2016, the company is expected to give a full revamp to its flagship smartphone. The “iPhone 7” could come with a major redesign, something that usually happens when Apple moves from one integer to the next.
Some are saying that the new iPhone could lose the home button or adopt soft buttons, which would allow Apple to increase the screen size of the phone without increasing its overall dimensions. But what about the fingerprint scanner on the home button? Well, Apple has a patent suggesting that it’s been working on on-screen fingerprint scanners.
The expectations of the iPhone 7 are certainly high. It could come with an A10 processor, 3GB of RAM, an AMOLED screen, better battery life, and wireless charging. One of the most talked about features is the removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack in favor of wireless audio solutions, which would allow the design of the iPhone 7 to be much thinner and likely waterproof.
iPad Air 3
In 2015, Apple did not introduce a new version of the “iPad Air,” so we might see an update sometime soon. The “iPad Air 3” could have a faster processor, a better camera, and 3D Touch. And how about adding “Apple Pencil” to the new iPad Air? Right now, only the iPad Pro supports the Apple Pencil.
With consumers shifting from cable television to on-demand viewing, Apple is not going to miss the opportunity. Apple recently launched its fourth-generation “Apple TV,” which can also play content from the “iTunes” store, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and Vevo. There have been rumors saying that Apple might be building its own streaming service for Apple TV that could compete with Netflix. Note that streaming is not new to Apple—the company has successfully launched its own music streaming service, Apple Music, to compete with Spotify.
Forget the “MacBook Pro” and “MacBook Air,” the “Mac Pro” is the Mac that’s really due for a refresh. The current Mac Pro was introduced in 2013 and hasn’t really received any update since then. If you are not familiar with the product, Mac Pro is the most powerful computer that Apple has to offer and has a cylindrical design. The new Mac Pro is expected to have new Intel “Xeon” processors, faster graphics cards, updated RAM, and 10 USB 3.0 ports.
Yep, even though the company has not made an official announcement, it looks like Apple is developing an electric car. Even Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, said that Apple’s electric car project is an “open secret.” (Source: “Tesla’s Elon Musk Says Apple Electric Car is an ‘Open Secret’,” Fortune, January 12, 2016.)
The potential “iCar” project is codenamed “Titan.” Sources suggest that Apple has filed permits to build an “auto work area” near Cupertino, has met with the California DMV, and even leased a super-secret testing facility.
Further supporting the rumor, Apple has even hired executives from Tesla, Chrysler, Nvidia, and advanced battery-maker A123 Systems.