In terms of major product refreshes, 2016 was rather light in the grand scheme of things. The MacBook Pro saw its first major refresh towards the end of the year, and 2017 will likely see the same treatment towards the rest of the Mac lineup, the iPhone the iPad, and maybe more.
Looking towards 2017 and beyond, what product line should Apple update next? Or should its next move be a new product category altogether?
Given that it’s the device’s 10th anniversary, the iPhone will likely be the star of the show this year. We’ve already broken down in extensive what we expect from the iPhone product line in 2017, including an all-new design, long-range wireless charging, new screen sizes, and more. Read our full roundup of iPhone 8 expectations here.
Apple’s business, of course, extends far beyond the iPhone. In 2017, we’re also expecting the rest of the Mac lineup to see updates, specifically the iMac. The iMac is expected to see a spec bump at some point this year, as well as USB-C. Specific details are unclear, but it doesn’t appear that the refresh will be major.
As for the rest of the desktop Mac lineup, the future is as unclear as it has ever been. While Tim Cook has stated that Apple is committed to the desktop Mac, there’s little evidence that supports that claim. The MacBook and MacBook Pro are expected to receive spec bumps this year.
What about Apple Watch? Not much is known about the future of Apple’s wearable at this point. A recent report claimed that a new model of the machine is currently planned for Q3 with the primary focus being on battery life.
As for the iPad, KGI claims that 2017 will see the release of a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a low-cost 9.7 inch iPad, and a new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch display. The new iPads are expected to be unveiled next quarter.
There’s also the Apple TV and a rumored standalone Siri speaker. The Apple TV still, for some reason, doesn’t support 4K, while the Siri speaker has been rumored a few times, but it’s unclear when or if the device will hit the market.
There has been a lot of debate as to how Apple should direct its attention and if the company is doing a good job of it as is. Some people argue that Apple is neglecting the Mac, while others say the company has also lost its touch at innovating and creating new product lines.
There’s also the argument that Apple has been neglecting software, as well. A few pundits have claimed that Apple no longer pays as close attention to detail as it once did, while others have claimed Apple is moving towards a more cluttered interface.
Personally, I would really like to see Apple put a renewed focus on software. For instance, the rollout of Apple Music was botched with a messy and confusing interface that was totally refreshed a year after its unveiling. Only keeping a user interface for a year is uncharacteristic for Apple as its software design changes are usually iterative rather than total overhauls. Though, the fact of the matter is, Apple should be able to focus on both hardware and software at the same time; improved software couldn’t come at the cost of less innovating hardware and vice versa.
Where do you think Apple should focus its attention in 2017 and beyond? What product line should be updated next? Or should it be a new one altogether? Take the poll above and back up your choice down in the comments.
Read our full roundup of what to expect from Apple in 2017 here.