In addition to a significant focus on updating and refreshing their existing products, last year also saw Apple launch some long-anticipated new releases, namely the iPad Pro for ‘prosumer tablets’, Watch for the wearable industry and the carrier unlocked (so-called SIM-free) iPhone 6S, where you can use any carrier you want. Whilst many might reflect on 2015 as a year of upgrades, hardware and add-ons for the tech giant, 2016 looks set to hold plenty of promise in terms of completely new products and branching out into unexplored fields. Here is a look ahead at what Apple may have in store for us over the coming year.
One year on from the release of its predecessor, the second generation Watch is scheduled to launch in September 2016. One of the biggest gripes with the original was the somewhat underwhelming battery life; therefore a more durable battery will no doubt have been a focus for Apple the second time around. Whilst the current watch uses an in-house developed s1 processor manufactured using older 28nm process, the new model should contain a new S2 processor that requires less power, courtesy of Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process used on iPad and the iPhone. Whilst improving battery life, Apple will no doubt be looking to incorporate sufficient new features to set its second watch apart; a FaceTime camera, sleep tracking and health sensor technologies are some strong contenders.
Arguably one of its most iconic products, Apple will continue to refine the iPhone range throughout 2016. One of the most prevalent rumors centers on an upgraded 4-inch screen smartphone which, since the launch of the larger iPhones 6 and 6 plus, would instead cater to users who prefer a smaller display. Whilst it’s still largely unclear which iPhone family this update would belong to – or indeed be named after – it is popularly being referred to as the iPhone 6C. Design predictions for this new smaller model envision an iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 hybrid of sorts, with an aluminum body and curved cover glass. Sales It is believed that Apple will hold an event in March to launch the second generation Apple Watch, which could also provide a potential platform on which to introduce the petite new iPhone.
Continuing with its product cadence, 4 – 4S, 5-5S, 6-6S, Fall of 2016 should bring the release of Apple iPhone 7, which will head to battle against Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC One M10, Xiaomi Mi:5 and new smartphones from OnePlus, Google (HTC is rumored to have scored the Nexus-branded Smartphone/Tablet contract) and many more. Naturally, iPhone 7 is expected to continue its leadership in the market segment. Apple iPhone 7 is expected to arrive in three different versions, just like Samsung’s Galaxy S7. The third iPhone 7 should be a photography-oriented version of 7 Plus, with a 5.5″ display and dual rear cameras which work together to create a single image, and alleged ‘DSLR-quality’ photos. This comes hot on the heels of Apple’s 2015 acquisition of LinX, an optical specialist company.
Speculation about Apple’s automotive plans is at an all-time high, and if the rumors are to be believed, 2016 could prove to be pivotal in the creation of an iCar. In addition to a hiring spree that recruited executives from NVIDIA and Tesla Motors, Apple recently registered several car-related domains: apple.car, apple.cars and apple.auto. Domain registration forms an integral part of brand creation and protection – be it top-level domains such as those reserved by Apple, or cheap domain registration for small businesses through sites such as 1&1 – so this latest move could certainly signify that Apple is working on its very own car brand. Whilst the existence of the so-called Project Titan is yet to be confirmed, predictions for the potential iCar are understandably ambitious, anticipating an electric or even self-driving, driver-less vehicle featuring state-of-the-art digital number plates and an iPhone activated key system. Whether or not such a car is currently in the making remains to be seen, but with Apple CEO Tim Cook foreseeing “a massive change” for the automotive industry, we can reasonably expect something momentous.