I’m offering some predictions for Apple’s year ahead, however while 2015 saw much speculation at Apple Watch, iPad Pro and Apple TV the images inside the crystal ball for 2016 appear far more opaque. (Which usually means Apple’s planning something more).
It is inevitable products will be updated, technologies and operating systems improved, so I’ll attempt to avoid obvious predictions. Apple Car will continue to generate interest, but I don’t realistically expect to be driving one in the next 12-months.
3D Touch/Force Touch
Apple managed to deploy a brand new UI element across all its products within one year. I think there’s a reason for this and I anticipate we see more 3D-informed user interfaces appear in 2016. This will start small, but I’d like to think that eventually using context- and pressure-sensitive touch there will be no need to flick through pages to find apps as they’ll all be nested within a single page and accessible using 3D virtual objects.
All about the IP (and diversification)
I mentioned last week how Apple is putting a lot of energy into owning the fundamental IP used in its solutoins. A few hours later Apple shook up its executive team and raised Johny Srouji to a new position as senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. Srouji’s team of crack silicon and technology engineers are developing the components Apple’s solutions will depend on in future, the batteries, application processors, storage controllers, sensors silicon, display silicon and other chipsets that will drive its devices. Recent investments in new secret r&d centers, technology acquisition and more – including the camera technologies the company teased us about on 60 Minutes the other night – we are going to see increasing use of proprietary Apple technologies across its product range .
Those 4-inch iPhone claims refuse to die because they make sense – people like smaller phones. Apple is investing huge amounts in display technology so it’s only a matter of time until it enables biometric authentication through the screen replaces the home button. In general terms, thinner Apple devices are as inevitable as rain… and waterproof devices with even higher performance also seem inevitable as iPhone 7 looms.
iTunes and more
Appe’s Eddy Cue has been busy and seems set to get busier. Not only have his people signed The Beatles and Adele to Apple Music streaming, but he’s been schmoozing the great, good and greedy of the broadcasting industry in an attempt to create some form of streaming television network for the Apple television. These plans haven’t quite worked out, but as TV channels mutate into apps there will come a point (soon) when Apple’s growing technology leadership in 5K displays could easily marry up to tvOS. An Apple Television? Definitely maybe, but not until the content’s there.. until then we have Apple TV. CD-quality music services through iTunes in 2016.
iPad Pro is the enterprise solution and will steadily become an accepted notebook replacement across a range of scenarios, however you’d not be mistaken to imagine the current iPad range hasn’t seen too much enhancement across the last twelve months. This changes in Q1 with camera, touch, processor and UI improvements.
Apple doesn’t just provide the technologies that are transforming global enterprise, it is also being transformed by them. 2016 will be the year we begin to see how these transformations are really going to hopefully enhance customer experience across Apple’s online and offline retail chains. This is also when we get to see more finesse in the company’s digital marketing delivery across all its touchpoints, with the company focusing on getting its message through without introducing more friction to the customer experience. Of course, as Apple learns how to transform itself it will also learn how to support others engaged in this transformation, which is why 2016 will see strong growth in Apple within the enterprise.
Apple Pay in China and beyond, now with person-to-person payments.
These are just some of the predictions for Apple in 2016. Others might include a battle over privacy, more Swift, Siri and continued proliferation of Apple’s mobile technologies inside connected devices.
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