2016 has been a year where Apple has tried to experiment with their new products.
From a re-release of a classic iPhone design, a downsize of a very capable tablet, and even thinner laptops.
Apple Shrunk Devices This Year
At the start of the year we were welcomed with the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7. Both came with a promise of delivering the same power of their bigger counterparts – now squeezed into a smaller packages.
The iPhone SE was basically the iPhone 6s squeezed into the body of an iPhone 5s, and it went on to become a top seller in many markets. Read our review on it here.
The iPad Pro 9.7, on the other hand, answered the prayers of fans of the Apple Pencil. The original iPad Pro was an unwieldy 12-inch monster, so the new shrunken down iPad Pro was a godsend for artists on-the-go.
Fast forward to September, and we got the new iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras, and the Apple Watch Series 2. While there are no changes in size here, we got an even better iPhone and Apple Watch. We covered a bit about them here.
Then came the newer, slimmer Macbook Pros, which have a significantly smaller footprint than their predecessors, and comes with a shiny new Touch Bar to replace the traditional function keys.
Lastly, while not exactly shrinking, Apple ripped off the cables on the EarPod to bring you their new wireless earphones. Called the AirPod, they are Apple’s first attempt at truly wireless earphones, and from our review, we loved it.
What Will Apple Bring Us In 2017?
With 2016 is now all but over, and we look forward to another year of potentially exciting additions to Apple’s line of products.
While the rumour mill has yet to grace us with leaks, here’s what we expect to see in 2017 from Apple.
Refreshed Macbook (Pro)
A major complaint among tech and Apple enthusiasts about the recently released Macbook Pro was that it didn’t come with Intel’s latest processors.
Codenamed Kaby Lake, they are Intel’s latest generation of computer processors, but there’s one problem – only a fraction of the new generation processors are available at the moment, namely the low-powered ones which could fit into the 13-inch Macbook Pro.
And with Apple being Apple, the latest Macbook Pros are equipped with the previous generation Skylake processors to keep them consistent across all models for optimisation. Besides, development of this kind of product takes time and usually takes into account the best possible options presently available.
Intel’s irregular processor updates makes it difficult for all manufacturers, not just Apple, to give consumers the latest and best specs for their products.
We expect the baby 12-inch Macbook to get a spec refresh next year (maybe a Touch Bar too).
Being the only Macbook available in Rose Gold, it’s Apple’s only super-portable, ultra-light laptop for the casual user.
Apple’s desktop computers have been very, very quiet in recent years. Rumours have been circulating that the internal team behind the Mac has not been given much priority in the company unlike their iOS colleagues.
Through an internal memo on an employee message board by CEO Tim Cook that Techcrunch got a hold of, it seems that the desktop computer is not quite dead yet.
Addressing media statements about how Apple has forgotten its roots, he says that “we have great desktops in our roadmap.”
Oh and notice how I only put iMac in the header above without the addition of Mac Pro? Seeing that Apple is heading towards svelte anorexic devices across the board, industry experts have deduced from what Tim Cook has published that the Mac Pro is all but dead.
I’d agree too. In everything that Tim Cook has said, only the iMac was mentioned, not the Mac Pro. When going down to specific details too, one can see that they were in reference to the iMac too.
Oh and we wouldn’t be surprised either if the new iMac only comes with Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports like the new Macbook Pro.
Whatever the case may be, at least a new iMac is coming our way. RIP Mac Pro (oh and in case your forgot this little guy, RIP Mac mini too.)
iPad Pro 2?
The update to the iPad Pro is expected to come around the same period of the year that the 9.7-incher was previously released, pointing towards a potential March release date.
Actually, there is much excitement for the new iPad Pro. Any drastic redesign of it could potentially set a precedent for the iPhone later in the year, because let’s face it, every single iPad so far is basically a super-sized iPhone.
Aside from the usual spec bump, insiders are expecting Apple to shrink the bezels on the iPad like how they did on the Macbook Pro for a device that is smaller, yet retains the same screen size.
So expect to see the same old 9.7 and 12-inch sizes, with rumours also pointing to a possibility of another model dropping in between. Apple will be hoping to push the integration of the Pencil from now on, so also say goodbye to the old iPad Air and Mini.
iPhone 7s? 8? 10?
Speaking of the iPhone, the most anticipated Apple device of 2017 is definitely the brand new iPhone coming out that year, simply because it will be the 10th year anniversary since the launch of the very first iPhone.
Even when the iPhone 7 was announced, the rumour mill was in full swing on what the 2017 iPhone could look like. Mentions of an all-glass iPhone have been floating around, while mentions of Apple going the bezel-less route like the Xiaomi Mi MIX have been making rounds too.
Today, the iPhone still holds strong among the swarm of Android hopefuls, recording the highest number of device activations over the holiday period – further proving its market dominance despite naysayers.
The name of the new iPhone, though, is the sketchy bit. Would Apple continue on with the current naming convention and call it the 7s, or skip it for the 8? Some have even speculated that Apple might just skip everything else and jump straight to 10, or X, since it’s the 10th year anniversary.
Time will tell, and time flies past quickly – before you know it, we’ll be at September in 2017 already.
Oh, and for a shoe in, to expect an update to iPhone SE isn’t entirely impossible either, seeing how the first one did so well.
And Then, There’s Everything Else
While some quarters of the press are saying of a possibility of there being an Apple Watch Series 3, most are not convinced. Smartwatches have so far largely failed to capture a significant market share for the average consumer to be genuinely excited by it.
Then there’s the Apple TV.
During the September keynote, it only got a new app, and some tweaks to the user experience. Hardware-wise though, it is still a bit lacking. With only 64GB of storage, space for multimedia is hard to come by with it.
We mainly kept this article on consumer devices thus far. Though Apple has somewhat admitted they’re doing their own R&D into their own vehicles and even smart home technologies, we have yet to see anything ready for the masses.
2017 is officially 3 days away, so here’s to another year of Apple satiating our lust for gorgeous tech.