With Apple having enjoyed some relatively lukewarm Apple Watch sales figures recently, the corporation will now be turning attention towards the remainder of the product releases for 2015. And the mediocre performance of its first ever smartwatch will bring the remaining product range for 2015 into sharper focus.
So what can we expect from Apple in the remainder of 2015? Here is a rundown of the certainties, likelihoods and possibilities from the consumer electronics giant.
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iPhone 7 / iPhone 6s
Apple will release the latest in its iconic iPhone range in September, although there is still a debate over whether it will be branded the iPhone 7 or iPhone 6s. This latest smartphone is expected to feature the Force Touch technology that was introduced in the Apple Watch.
Additionally, after the success of the iPhone 6 Plus last year, Apple is also expected to upgrade the phablet when the iPhone 7 / iPhone 6s is released.
A larger version of the extremely popular iPad tablet has also been predicted for some years, and this may finally come to fruition before the end of 2015. This concept has been commonly described as the iPad Pro, and it is expected to deliver desktop-like functionality with the convenient package of a tablet. The iPad Pro is reported to come with a 12-inch display, and a list of specifications that would make it by far the most powerful tablet that Apple has ever produced. Split-screen functionality has also been linked with that device, as Apple attempts to justify the Pro monicker.
Apple usually introduces new iPads during October, so it could be that we will see the latest version of the tablet series emerge early in Q4.
Aside from the entirely new version of the iPad, it is also suggested that Apple will update its iPad Air model as well. This 9.7-inch tablet was extremely well received when it was released last year, but there is already the opportunity for Apple to upgrade it to the latest specifications and operating system.
If Apple does take the plunge and release an improved iPad Air then an improved processor will be a must. Apple also frequently adds features from its most recent iPhone series to the iPad, so we may see the likes of Force Touch and sapphire glass included its makeup.
On the other hand, it is distinctly possible that were Apple to release an iPad Pro before the end of the year that Apple would hold back from upgrading the iPad Air in order to place emphasis on its new products.
If Apple does not update the iPad, then an upgraded version of the iPad mini is also a distinct possibility. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, something of a legend in the company following circles, has suggested that Apple could release a thinner and lighter iPad Mini this year.
The new version of the Apple TV set-top box has been expected for several years, but has been conspicuous by its absence thus far. Apple was indeed rumored to release a new version of the Apple TV back in June, but this date passed without comment, and there was no sign of the Apple TV at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
A wide variety of rumors and reports have suggested that the next generation streaming box for the company will include a new remote control and its own dedicated App Store, and we could see it before 2015 is out.
Possibly accompanying this new Apple TV release is a new streaming service that the company has been working on internally and legally for sometime. Apple apparently intends to rival existing cable providers with the streaming service, that was reported earlier this year by both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Apple is also reportedly intending to offer local channels through this streaming service, and this has been blamed for the delay of its release. Apple also needs to sort out contractual issues with broadcasters, and this is clearly proving to be a trickier issue to resolve than the corporation had anticipated.
4K 21.5-inch iMac
Another exciting prospect from Apple is the possible release of a 21.5-inch 4K iMac. The iMac desktop range has become renowned as the world’s greatest desktop machine, and Apple introduced a 5K Retina version of the iMac during 2014. This was mooted as the world’s first 5K resolution desktop at the time, and it is expected that the company will also update the entry-level version of the iMac in due course.
In previous years, Apple has made announcements about its Mac ecosystem at its October event, so we may hear more about this proposed desktop machine at that date. Possibly the smart money could be on the 21.5-inch 4K iMac releasing during 2016, though.
Apple Watch 2
It has also been suggested that Apple could preview the next generation Apple Watch before 2015 is out. This could be deemed necessary to give the smartwatch a kick up the rear, as its performance has been at best mediocre thus far. Indeed, Apple’s share price took a bit of a hammering after the Apple Watch’s somewhat disappointing sales figures were released to the market, and there are a raft of question marks about the long-term viability of the Apple Watch concept.
As the Apple Watch is an entirely new product category, it has been suggested that the company will not follow its traditional release cycle for this device. It seems too much of a stretch to expect a new Apple Watch before the end of 2015, but no-one is quite sure what Apple has in mind for this niche.
Finally, the chances of seeing a 4-inch iPhone 6c before the year is out seem to be receding rapidly. Apple still seems to be keen on producing a smaller version of its iconic smartphone, but reports seem to indicate that this is more likely to materialie in the early months of 2016.