Apple's Tim Cook promised a 2019 product blitz: What’s coming?

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company will have major launches on all of its platforms -- new services and products. Here's a look at what it could announce.

Apple, iOS, macOS, Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad Pro, Mac Pro, services

Apple announced record June quarter revenues. While iPhone sales slowed, services climbed. And now the company is promising “major launches” in the coming months. 

What’s inside Tim Cook’s magic box?

“This was our biggest June quarter ever — driven by all-time record revenue from Services, accelerating growth from Wearables, strong performance from iPad and Mac and significant improvement in iPhone trends,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“These results are promising across all our geographic segments, and we’re confident about what’s ahead. The balance of calendar 2019 will be an exciting period, with major launches on all of our platforms, new services and several new products.”

Platforms. Services. Products.

That’s everything.

It sure looks like Cook has promised a product blitz in 2019, so what’s coming?

Mac Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro

With or without tariffs, Apple’s powerful Mac Pro, display and stand will all ship in the balance of 2019.

That’s not the only Mac upgrade anticipated – at time of writing, the company is expected to introduce a pretty much all-screen 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The iMac received a speed bump in March, and MacBook Air and MacBook Pro were both improved earlier this month.

New iPad Pros?

iPad OS is the new name for the iPad operating system, which promises plenty of productivity enhancements.

What better than a new OS than a new tablet to run it on?

Apple last updated iPad Pro in October 2018, one year later it seems to be on the cusp of introducing a new upgrade, based on a series of recent regulatory filings with the Eurasian Economic Commission. The new iPad Pro tablets may be joined by a new entry-level iPad, some believe.

iPhone X: The third generation

Apple’s most important product may be suffering in the smartphone malaise, despite what politicians claim when they say we’ve never had it so good. (We had it better.)

At street level, consumers know times are tough and are planning purchases accordingly. We want our tech to last longer, and this is reflected in smartphone sales figures.

All the same, if it’s time for an iPhone upgrade, this year’s devices will be faster, more powerful, boast better displays, and a bunch of sophisticated photography technologies. It will also offer a revamped taptic engine and front-facing camera. More details/speculations and fantasies are here.

Apple Watch Series 5

A new year, a new watch. Expect an OLED display, sleep tracking, battery life improvements, and a unique take on a built-in camera.

I also anticipate further independence in the product line, turning the watch into a viable iPhone replacement for some people.

Waterproof AirPods

We’ve all been hearing about new (waterproof) AirPods, just in time for the holiday shopping season. Apple confirmed big business in wearables and is unlikely to let this opportunity slip by. These will be more expensive, so I’m unlikely to go swimming with these things.

Apple TV+

Driven by the company’s focus on its forthcoming TV+ service and new partnerships with content providers, Apple TV viewership climbed 40% over the last year, the company confirmed.

Apple’s TV service won’t offer the world’s largest collection of unique content, but what it does offer will likely reflect the company’s commitment across all its product line to provide the best possible experience.

It’s open to question if Apple’s family-friendly content can cross the bridge into mass market popular culture of shows like The Wire or Game of Thrones, but I’m not without hope… See and For All Mankind look interesting.

Why not launch a new Apple TV?

No one is talking about this, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

I see it this way: It makes no sense at all to launch a bunch of connected TV-related services without introducing new hardware to run them on.

Those partnerships with TV manufacturers mean the company doesn’t see sales of the box/Apple TV tech as the money-spinner it used to be and really wants to use these things as a front room portal to services and content.

With that in mind, it actually makes sense to ship a a lower-cost, USB-stick-style, small Apple TV device to reach a huge chunk of people who will be pleasantly surprised at the company’s TV user interface, which (in my experience, at least) is far, far better than the competition. Discovery is everything.

Apple Card

Cook told us to expect the Apple Card to ship this August.

While critics say the benefits of the card don’t go far enough, it seems pretty clear that the 3% daily cashback will be highly attractive to regular consumers of Apple products and services.

What’s also clear is that Apple partner Goldman Sachs is spending tens of millions on the launch, which makes it reasonable to anticipate a little more visibility in terms of international Apple Card launch plans, likely beginning spring 2020. Apple Pay and Apple Pay Cash will also be in view.

Don’t ignore Apple Arcade…

Apple cash has been pouring into games development studios as the company ramps up games development for its Apple Arcade service.

I don’t think enough people are taking this investment seriously, but it means subscribers will be able to access up to 100 completely original titles developed by the world’s best games development studios on their TV, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

What about Apple Music?

Why would Apple introduce new services and ignore the service it already has that already has 50 million paying subscribers? It makes sense to expect iterative improvement here.

Turning on Apple Podcasts

This has flown under the radar, but Apple is reportedly prepared to invest in podcasting shows from talented producers. Perhaps podcasting can become a form of progressive talk radio? We shall see.

More detail, more useful, Apple Maps

Is this just an OS upgrade? I don’t think so. With Look Around, much improved data, useful sharing features, and more, Apple’s Maps teams have pushed Apple’s much-maligned service far forward and we can expect highly detailed maps to appear all across the U.S. and key territories outside of there over the coming months.

Look Around, in particular, puts Street View to shame.

And free hardware for all (kinda)

Not buying hardware this year? Never mind, Apple will update all its platforms with new operating system releases this fall.

These free upgrades mean that Apple device users who will not be shopping for new hardware right now will get new features and enhancements on their existing (supported) devices – and access to those services.

Not to neglect that – just like last year’s upgrade – this year’s release also means older hardware will perform better than before.

Pay particular attention to AI-driven improvements. Privacy and security will be massively ramped-up – why else do you think Google and other competitors are using their influence to undermine Apple’s security story? They already know their own is about to look even poorer.

Anyway, free software upgrades for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

Available this fall.

(With added services).

One more thing

Remember Apple’s new Find My system, which uses highly secure Bluetooth broadcasting to make it possible for you to find your lost iThings?

Just before WWDC, a rumor flickered claiming Apple planned a Tile-like device to help people find lost objects. You might hide it in your bicycle, vehicle, suitcase, or bag, and if that item were lost or stolen, you’d be able to track it.

The idea of such tags isn’t particularly original, but Apple’s Find My tech is, combining privacy with efficacy. Might this be Apple’s one more thing? Or is it planning a bigger reveal (which, quite honestly, it could also be positioning to introduce)?

2020 vision

Think on how 5G will tie all Apple’s products and services together.

If only there were a wireless power source we could all use with these things, and user interfaces for gesture and voice.

Summing up: All these products, platforms, and services are in the frame this year. I think its a pretty compelling pipeline.

Do let me know if I missed anything. There's a lot to get through.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
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