2014 was a great year for Apple. In the last twelve months, the tech giant managed to release two new iPhone devices that featured bigger display screens plus loads of new features. Along the way, Apple also introduced new and improved versions of its iOS mobile operating system, and at the same time updated its Mac and tablet offerings. Not only that, Apple also acquired Beats streaming music, which further strengthened its hold on streaming services. And of course, let us not forget Apple Pay, which is on its way to becoming the most successful mobile payment system ever.
As the year 2014 ends, many of Apple's fans are no doubt looking forward to what the company will be unveiling in 2015. Perhaps to brew as much excitement as possible, Apple is keeping mum for now. But it does not take too much deductive skill to get an idea of what Apple has in store for next year.
First off is the Apple Watch. Apple had already unveiled its first wearable device back in September this year, but the smartwatch will not be available from retail stores until 2015. Priced at $349, the Apple Watch comes in three case designs: stainless steel case, aluminum case (for the Apple Watch Sport edition), and 18-karat gold case. To function, the wearable device must be paired with an iPhone. Compatible iPhone models include the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C, the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is positioning the Apple Watch not only as a complete health and fitness device, but also as a walkie talkie and even a remote control for the Apple TV streaming box.
Apple enthusiasts can also expect a new and bigger iPad in 2015. iPad sales have been middling this year due to the emergence of phablets -- smartphones that feature generously sized display screens that are taking the customers' attention away from tablets. Apple's new iPad offering, nicknamed the iPad Pro, is expected to get people to be interested in tablets again. The iPad Pro will feature a 12.9-inch display screen and knowing Apple, a few new enhancements.
Apart from pushing its wearable device to retail stores and introducing a new iPad, Apple will also be expanding its products and services through strategic partnerships it had struck this year. Of note is its recent collaboration with IBM. This move would allow Apple to make its Apple devices and iOS apps more accessible to business users, the primary demographic served by IBM. This means that by next year, Apple may be looking at serving different industries like airlines, telecoms, insurance, banking and finance, and even the government.
Even as Apple continues to expand its reach, many experts are expecting the tech giant to keep on improving the overall ecosystem of Apple hardware, software, and services. That is why next year, Apple's users can look forward to a tighter integration of Apple Pay, HomeKit, HealthKit, and other services in all Apple devices (we are looking at you, Apple Watch).
And as mentioned earlier, Apple's plans on Beats music is also something to be excited about. There is a good possibility that the company will make Beats an integral part of most Apple devices.
Of course, Apple may also be working on something that is completely new, one that nobody sees coming. In this day and age, keeping secrets is definitely not easy to do. And even if Apple is brewing up something unexpected, it may not remain secret for very long. We're just gonna have to wait and see in 2015.
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