What to expect in 2016

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! As we begin 2016, let’s talk about all the products we can expect from the Cupertino based company. This post will consist of a bunch of speculation, and rumors gathered from various sources. None of these are official, but the sources that have rumored all the upcoming products have a reputable track record.

The first rumor is that Apple will host a March event where they will unveil the Apple Watch 2nd generation. The new watch is said to have a thinner profile, FaceTime camera, as well as being WiFi enabled. You may wonder, why would I want my watch to be WiFi enabled? With a separate connection, a user would be able to operate their watch without having to have their iPhone nearby. Some rumors have even pointed to a carrier enabled version, where users could pay a monthly fee so that their watch can use their data plan. This idea is not too farfetched seeing that some carriers are beginning to offer this as an option. With the release of the new watch, we should see a price reduction of the old version, maybe $50.

Another rumored product that is to be released is the iPhone 6c. If you recall, the iPhone 5c was a budget smartphone targeted at those who weren’t looking to get the flagship phone, but instead a cheaper version of the phone, but with a few differences. The 6c will most likely be a cheaper version of the iPhone 6 with much of the same hardware specifications. It will consist of an A8 processor versus the A9 and an 8 megapixel camera versus the 12 megapixel shooter on the 6s. If the iPhone 5C was still a great phone, even with the lower specifications, why then should the 6c be any different.

As we fast forward to June, Apple will host their annual WWDC event (World Wide Developers Conference). At this event, we will see the release of iOS 10, which may instead be named iOS X, OSX 10.12 paired with the name of a California landmark, WatchOS3, and TvOS2. With iOS 7, we saw huge changes, iOS 8 swept up the bugs, and iOS 9 was focused on performance. If I were to guess, I would say Apple has something big in the works for us. OSX will probably focus on more under the hood with speed, battery, and performance being the headliner of the OS. WatchOS3 could bring about many new features considering Apple just released the product last year. Very few, if any rumors have pointed much out about the next version of the WatchOS. Lastly, TvOS was released alongside the Apple TV last year and the new update will most likely consist of bug fixes, some minor features, and maybe, the long awaited, Apple TV streaming service.

Apple wants to begin competing with others such as Play Station, Roku, and all of the satellite and cable providers on the market. Rumors have surfaced that Apple has been in talks with many network providers about bringing their channels to the Apple TV. No set price has been announced, but to compete with competitors, Apple may choose to have a base package start off around $20 just like the Roku, to as high as the Play Station’s $50 package. With this service, more and more people will jump onto the cord cutter’s bandwagon.

It is not uncommon for Apple to unveil a refresh to the Mac line at either the March Event or at WWDC. What would these new Macs have? MacBook Pros will most likely get new Intel processors, better battery, and because it’s Apple, a thinner design. The MacBook Air will most likely not receive much attention nor will the Mac Pro or iMacs. I would, however, not expect too much attention to be focused on the Mac considering how quietly all Mac lines got a refresh last summer. Who knows though, Apple may surprise us.

Finally, as usual, Apple will host a September event to show off their latest iPhone and iPad. The iPhone 7 is rumored to have an A10 processor, along with better battery life, no home button, and no headphone jack. You may ask what will happen to the home button. Apple is rumored to embed the home button into the actual screen of the iPhone. With 3D touch, this is actually a possible idea. The one thing I have against the new iPhone concept is that there will be no 3.5 mm headphone jack. Without this, how else are you to listen to music or other audio? Some point to Apple selling an adapter which will plug into the lightning connector on the iPhone, as well as relying on companies to create lightning enabled headphones. Bluetooth is another option, but let’s be honest, who wants to go and buy a new pair of Bluetooth headphones when they have a great pair of wired ones already?

The iPad Pro was just released just a few months ago, but where else could Apple go with this product. Currently, it is just a larger iPad Air 2 with some higher processor specs, and yet, it is still incapable of replacing a regular notebook or desktop. Some have proposed that Apple create a hybrid version of OSX to run on the iPad Pro just like Microsoft has done with their Surface Book, Surface, and Surface Pro lines. If Apple chose to do this, it would surely increase productivity, and functionality of the product. As of yet though, very few rumors have surfaced about it.

Will we see another iPad Mini? I believe we will. One of the best things Apple did was create a smaller version of the iPad, which was much easier to take places, and yet delivered just as good of a performance. If Apple were to completely get rid of this line, it would seriously hurt their revenue. You can get an iPad Mini for as little as $300, but if Apple were to do away with this option, then all that would be left would be an $800 version (aka the 12” iPad Pro), which, for many, is too much for a tablet. If Apple continues to make them, though, we should expect better processors and maybe a better camera.

This is my outlook on 2016. What do you hope Apple will unveil? What do you want in their next product revision? What do you think of Apple’s ability to innovate? I would be interested in what all you have to say. 

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