It has been a very good year for Apple, from the introduction of the Apple Watch to the impressive debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As is always the case, however, there is always room for improvement.
Here are five products that Apple needs to address in 2015:
In November, Apple charged my credit card $24.99 for another year of iTunes Match. Again, I wondered whether my membership was worth keeping.
First introduced in the U.S. in 2011, iTunes Match membership provides two main services. First, it allows customers to scan and match tracks in their iTunes music library, including those copied from CDs or other sources. Customers can download those tracks in 256 kbit/s DRM-free AAC file format.
Second, iTunes Match members can listen to iTunes Radio ad-free.
Is this really worth $24.99? Probably not, which is why Apple really needs to rethink the service.
Rumors says that Apple will roll its Beats Music service into iTunes early next year. If this is the case, Apple would be wise to provide it to iTunes Match customers for free.
Other possible iTunes Match ad-ons could include music discounts, early access, and more.
This one is a no-brainer, Apple needs to release a Retina display MacBook Air. They probably will this spring during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
For this first time, Google’s low-cost Chromecast stick has overtaken Apple TV in terms of sales. This news doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that the Apple TV hasn’t been updated since March 2012.
In 2015, something needs to be done with the Apple TV. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Amazon Fire TV move past Apple’s “hobby” device as well.
Where’s that iTV, Apple?
The iPad mini
One year ago, people were scrambling to find an iPad mini with Retina display. This October, the iPad mini 3 arrived almost as an afterthought.
Apple needs to give us a reason to buy the “iPad mini 4.” Otherwise, it’s probably history.
The Apple Watch is almost certainly going to fly off the shelves when it is released early next year. However, I would expect that most of those early purchases will be for the $349 entry-level model.
My question to Apple: Why should we buy one of the more expensive Apple Watch models? I ask this not as a cheapskate looking to save some money, but rather as someone who recognizes that the shelf-life on the Apple Watch OS is never going to keep up with the wearable device’s hardware.
How can one justify spending $3,500 on a 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, Cupertino?
What would you like to see Apple address in the new year?