Whether it’s technology or politics, its seems to me that anyone and everyone who writes for a living has predictions for the new year. Here are mine.
iPhone 7 – Apple may very well introduce a smaller 4-inch screen iPhone 7 in 2016 to take advantage of the upward migration that takes place in developing countries. Think about what’s going on with smartphone saturation. Customers migrate upward and the only real upward path is the iPhone. What I would like to see in iPhone 7 is better security with face and voice recognition built in. Oh, and a high end, 256GB model with a waterproof case.
Watch 2.0 – This is a no-brainer with the only real issue being the improved feature set. Watch is an accessory to the iPhone but it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Add 4G LTE and Wi-Fi to Watch to make it a standalone product for the well-to-do masses.
Apple Car – Nope. Not this year. Apple may announce that it is working on a car, but it takes a few years for a manufacturing facility to reach production. Maybe next year. Or, the year after.
Apple TV Channels – The television industry is not the recording industry and Apple will not repeat its iTunes success for TV. But 4k TV is coming quickly and Apple could and should launch a new streaming TV service which also includes local channels as well major network offerings– ala carte.
Apple Music – 2016 will be the year when Apple Music will top Spotify, but it’s a meaningless victory. Nobody makes much money on streaming music except YouTube.
iPad Air 3 – Think smaller version of iPad Pro with Pencil capability. iPad sales may rebound but not much. Why not? People prefer to keep two Apple devices, not five or six. Mac and iPhone will continue to grow and everything else– Apple TV and iPad– will sell in smaller numbers. I don’t expect 3D Touch on an iPad.
Apple TV – A 4k version will show up in 2017 because there’s just not much content to grab for the new Apple TV (unless Apple TV v4 has the ability to stream 4k TV and nobody knows it but Apple).
Mac Pro – Did you know Apple still manufactures a Mac Pro? High end users are screaming for an update and 2016 should be the year they get it, but don’t expect it to be the geeks Mac Pro with upgradeable and customization options.
Mac – Smaller, lighter, thinner, faster is the Mac mantra these days so I expect updated MacBook Pro models to round out the notebook line, but one thing missing across the entire Mac line is 1) a touchscreen, and, 2) Touch ID fingerprint sensor. I expect the latter, not the former.
Siri on the Mac? About time.
OS X and iOS – These are no-brainer upgrades. OS X 10.12 Bakersfield (or something a little more classy), and iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad (plus watchOS 3.0 for Watch), but the monumental annual event upgrades are history. From here to eternity OS versions will be incremental, non-monumental upgrades.
One More Thing – MacPad? The distance between an iPad Pro and a new MacBook isn’t much, but it’s distinct. Will 2016 be the year that Apple launches a touchscreen MacPad? I don’t think so. There’s little evidence that Windows touchscreen devices get much use as touchscreen devices, and for all of Microsoft’s advertising to pitch the Surface models, they’re still notebooks with a detachable keyboard.