Our 2014 Apple predictions mostly missed the mark, but that sad fact isn’t going to keep us down. The following are our predictions for 2015.
The Apple Watch will lift other smart watches
When it is released early next year, the Apple Watch is going to do something that past products did not. Instead of decimating the competition, the Apple Watch is actually going to make other wearable devices popular too.
Not everyone will be able to buy the Apple Watch, which will arrive at prices starting at $349 in the U.S. Nonetheless, competitors could ride the Apple Watch craze to their own success.
Only the Apple Watch will be able to use WatchKit, of course. However, competitors can use Bluetooth to offer some wearable devices that do a lot of the things the Apple Watch can do. And at a lower price.
Good candidates include a less expensive Pebble Watch, or the upcoming Fitbit Surge, which will be priced at $249.
This doesn’t mean that everyone will benefit from the Apple Watch’s arrival. Companies that are currently offering smart watches for $349 or higher could be in trouble, unless they offer something unique.
Bolder prediction: Apple will announce a buyback program for Apple Watch Edition owners so that they can swap out expensive bands and cases when a next-generation Watch is unveiled.
A quiet year for iPhone
In odd years, Apple likes to take a breath when it comes to the iPhone. Think the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5s. The biggest news on the iPhone front in 2015 could be the arrival of a 4-inch “iPhone 6s mini.”
Bolder prediction: Hints of an even larger iPhone coming in 2016 could excite handset owners and investors alike.
The “iPad Pro” will energize the line, as the iPad mini exits
The success of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has proven that there is a market for 12-inch tablets. With its own tablet line sputtering, Apple is likely to offer a 12.9-inch iPad Pro as early as this spring. This should help rejuvenate the line, especially with enterprise users.
Thanks to the success of the iPhone 6 Plus, we predict the discontinuation of the iPad mini before the end of the year. See above.
Bolder prediction: The iPad Pro will be able to run OS X applications.
Another huge acquisition is coming
Apple spent $3 billion to buy Beats Electronics in 2014. Expect the company to announce another huge acquisition in the coming months.
Possible candidates include Hulu, Netflix, Roku, and Square. The latter could make it easier for small businesses to accept Apple Pay.
Bolder prediction: The huge acquisition will shake Hollywood.
A MacBook Air with Retina display
This highly-anticipated update should arrive in June.
Bolder prediction: The new MacBook Air will feature an innovative new design that will be carried over to the MacBook Pro in the fall.
Finally, a new Apple TV
Competing with the Apple Watch for best new product of the year will be a next-generation Apple TV. It’s hard to say what the new “hobby” device will do or look like. However, we expect the device to feature a new interface, and gaming tools.
Our wish: Apple should buy industry-leader Roku. Just think of all of those channels.
Bolder prediction: The new Apple TV will be the first device to offer HBO’s stand alone subscription plan.
What are your 2015 Apple predictions?