Apple Inc. is not a corporation to rest on its laurels, and after an extremely successful 2015 there is no doubt that its plans will already be firmly in place for the next twelve months. Unfortunately, when you are the corporation with the largest market capitalization in stock market history, and have had a flawless winning run in terms of product releases that would rival the ’72 Dolphins, then there is no real pressure on you to reveal your hand to the public. Apple keeps its plans very clandestine indeed, and even an incredibly poorly kept secret like the Apple Watch does not leak out officially until the corporation is absolutely certain that it’s the right time.
Thus, we don’t know exactly what to expect from the corporation in 2015, even if we can make an educated guess. But here are some trends to look out for with regard to Apple in the next twelve months of which you may not already be aware.
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Apple Watch to be sold externally
The Apple Watch is the new kid on the block for Apple this year; the only confirmed brand new product that the corporation will release in 2015 (although others could be on the horizon too…read on…). This smartwatch is Apple’s first foray into this particular product niche, and the consumer electronics giant will undoubtedly be hoping for big things from the device over the next twelve months.
However, one trend related to the Apple Watch which many people may be surprised by is the analyst prediction that the device may be made available in luxury retailers and jewellers. Apple recruited some key personnel from the retail industry during the last twelve months, including Burberry’s former CEO Angela Ahrendts and the sales director of the luxury watch maker TAG Heuer, and this suggests that it is looking to spruce up is retail approach.
The Apple Watch is likely to be a beneficiary of this, as Apple attempts to brand the device as a high-end fashion item. So look for the Apple Watch being sold through some retail outlets in which were are unaccustomed to seeing Apple products.
Apple Inc. iPhone 7 quandary
The iPhone 6 has been massively successful for Apple, as the smartphone buying public’s love affair with the most iconic handset in the history of the medium shows no signs of abating. It would be harsh to say that this was despite not due to the quality of the device itself, as the iPhone 6 received a strong critical reception, but it wasn’t the revolution and rebooting of the iPhone range that many predicted and expected.
Apple therefore finds itself in a position of not really needing to make too many changes to the iPhone in one sense, as it retains its enduring popularity, but also perhaps feeling a nagging sense that the device does need to be significantly updated if it is to retain its cutting edge image. How the corporation will choose to do this and freeze production costs will be a serious quandary. Apple will want to retain the price point from the iPhone 6, not least because the previous iteration in the series sold so well. But any big design and build alterations could cause problems in this area, as would any significantly new technological innovations.
No doubt Apple is already figuring out the answers to these questions ahead of a September release for the iPhone 7.
Apple Pay to be slow burner
Apple released its Apple Pay mobile payment system last year with the express intention of establishing itself in the extremely lucrative marketplace. But some analysts believe that it will not become a major player, or at least a dominant factor, in the mobile payment markets during 2015. It is considered by many analysts that Apple Pay will instead establish itself over a period of several years. At this point in time, Apple Pay actually has a trivial penetration in terms of retailers, and it is asking a lot for this to be seriously remedied in merely twelve months.
Apple Watch to be big in the East
Despite the potentially mediocre outlook for Apple Watch and Apple Pay, one area where this new device may fare well is the Eastern marketplace. It is considered that the fashion element of Apple products plays particularly well in markets such as China, and this is expected to ensure that the Apple Watch – which will be strongly branded as a fashion-conscious product niche – sells very well in the East.
One big surprise
Apple has been implying for some time that it has numerous products up its sleeve that will surprise and shock people. Tim Cook has stated quite explicitly that the Apple hierarchy has discussed products that no-one has even predicted that the company will release. Additionally, the CEO of the company has strongly stated that he believes televisions are currently suffering from dated features, and implied that Apple will be looking to revolutionise this tech niche at some point in the future.
Could this add up to an Apple television set in 2015? The odds are probably against it, particularly as there haven’t been particular leaks or rumors coming out of the company related to this, but it’s not impossible. Something big could be on the horizon; certainly Tim Cook has indicated that this is the case.
Apple Inc. – Stock price
Apple’s share price performed well over the totality of 2014, despite taking a bit of a kicking in the early part of the year. So what are the prospects for Apple stock in 2015?
Almost without exception, analysts are bullish on Apple sentiment for the next twelve months. Morgan Stanley has suggested that the Apple Watch will perform better than investors believe in 2015, and that a price target of $twelve6 is achievable. Other analysts have been even more bullish, and it is extremely difficult to locate any bearish sentiments with regard to Apple, whih could make some contrarians a bit uncomfortable.