This year won’t go down as one of Apple’s best. Nonetheless, there was a lot going on for the iPhone maker during the past 12 months. Here are the biggest Apple stories of 2016.
iPhone 6, Version 3
Officially, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 (and iPhone 7 Plus) two days after Labor Day. In reality, the handset that launched was the iPhone 6 with a few new bells, whistles, and color choices.
For the first time in the history of the iPhone, Apple decided not to make a design change in an even year on the company’s top-selling product. Instead, Cupertino focused on introducing a new Home button, making the handset water resistant, and adding a dual camera (on the iPhone 7 Plus).
We won’t know until January how well the iPhone 7 performed during the all-important holiday shopping season. Regardless, one thing is certain: the “iPhone 8” looks to become a much bigger seller when it’s released in 2017.
The iPad Pro Gets Smaller
In March, Apple introduced its first new 9.7-inch tablet since 2014. The smaller iPad Pro is noted for its True Tone display that uses ambient light sensors to adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in your environment. It’s also the first Apple tablet to include a high-fidelity speaker in each corner.
In the new year, Apple is likely to unveil next-generation versions of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and iPad mini. A 10.5-inch or 10.9-inch iPad Pro could also be announced.
Sales, Profits Dive
For the first time, the iPhone line suffered year-over-year sales declines in 2016. The downturn has now continued for three straight quarters.
Perhaps even more worrisome, Apple saw its first decline in revenue in 15 years. Also dipping this year: iPad and Mac sales.
Apple could see a nice turnaround in 2017 thanks to the new iPhone. Unfortunately, that won’t happen until late in the year.
Rethinking the Apple TV
Cupertino once sought to introduce its own video streaming service for Apple TV. Those plans have apparently changed in the past few months.
The future of Apple TV is in the new TV app, which was introduced this fall. The app allows users to see all the shows and movies they are watching, find upcoming episodes, and get personalized recommendations on what to watch next.
The app ties in with the new single sign-on feature available on iOS and tvOS.
Removal of the 3.5mm Headphone Jack
AirPods Announced, Delayed, and Released
Officially announced in September, Apple’s “truly wireless” AirPods were one of the most sought after gifts during the holiday season. Though Apple promised that AirPods would arrive in October, they didn’t launch until December.
Are the earbuds the future of audio? We addressed this question numerous times over the past few months:
Battling FBI Over Encryption
Apple Watch Series 2 Dives into the Water
The second-generation Apple Watch was finally unveiled in September. When it arrived, the Apple Watch Series 2 looked a lot like its predecessor as most of the changes happened on the inside.
Apple Watches are now water resistant and a lot easier to operate. They also have a brighter display and improved battery. In other words, it’s the wearable device the company should have released in 2015.
The End of the Line
Apple Music Revamped
One year in, Apple Music received a makeover of sorts in its battle with Spotify. The new Apple Music was officially unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June and released in the fall.
Featuring a more user-friendly interface, the new Apple Music service is available on iOS, tvOS, Android, and Mac.