The Cnet Columnist Shara Tibken wrote an article on Apple’s 2017
The launch of the large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in late 2014 sent Apple’s fortunes soaring. Apple became the most profitable company in the world, and the following year, with the 6S and 6S Plus, was even bigger. But enthusiasm waned in 2016 — iPhone unit sales fell for the first time since the device hit the market in 2007.
FOR APPLE, THIS PAST YEAR WAS LARGELY A TIME FOR REFINEMENTS, NOT ENTIRELY NEW MARKETS
For Apple, this past year was largely a time for refinements, not entirely new markets. But 2017 could be a completely different story. If all the rumors about the company’s product lines are true, next year could be Apple’s biggest — ever. Think radically redesigned iPhones, revamped iPads and new product categories. And 2017 could be a big year for software and services, too.
Most dramatic iPhone changes ever?
OK, Apple always says its latest iPhone is the best ever. But 2017’s claim may be legit.
We’ve just been through three years of the same-looking iPhone. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are water-resistant and boast better cameras, but they’re no longer a must-have upgrade.
The 10-year anniversary of the first iPhone comes next year, and there’s speculation that Apple could release a major new design.
SOME RUMORS ABOUT THE IPHONES 7S INCLUDE REPORTS APPLE COULD FINALLY INTRODUCE
Some rumors about the “iPhone 7S” (or “iPhone 8,” as some have dubbed it) include reports Apple could finally introduce wireless charging and ditch the round home button that has been in every iPhone since the first, which would let it pack a big screen in a smaller body.
Apple could release three new phones next year, including a premium version with an OLED screen. That would allow for better image quality and a thinner device because the display wouldn’t need backlights.
One thing all rumors seem to agree on is that there are big changes ahead for the next iPhone. It could set off what Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has dubbed a “supercycle” of demand.
REDESIGNED APPLE WATCH
As with the iPhone 7, Apple released a second-generation version of its smartwatch that looked an awful lot like the original. (But now with a water-resistant body!)
Apple doesn’t reveal how many Apple Watches it has sold, but IDC estimated the company shipped 1.1 million units in the third quarter, which included only a couple weeks of Apple Watch Series 2 sales. The firm said that “Apple’s success will likely be muted as the smartwatch category continues to be challenged.”
In other words, people aren’t going gaga for smartwatches.
Still, Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this month that the gadget set a sales record during the first week of holiday shopping and is on track for its best quarter yet.
Apple in 2017 is expected to make the first design changes to the Apple Watch since it introduced the device last year. It has filed for a patent for a watch with a circular display, but it’s unclear whether such a device could go on sale in 2017. Likely changes include better screens, new health-focused sensors and cellular connectivity that lets you use the watch without your phone.
Apple’s next big wearable may be something worn on the face. A report said the company is working on smart glasses that would connect wirelessly to an iPhone, displaying images and other information to the wearer. But seeing this device next year could be a stretch; it’s reportedly still in the exploration phase.
Google Glass, introduced in 2012, failed spectacularly, but this year’s Snapchat Spectacles, which let users shoot videos to post to the Snapchat messaging app, have turned out to be hugely popular.
Apple glasses could be the company’s first stab at augmented reality. It has largely been silent about the technology that overlays the virtual world on top of the real world (a good example of this is Pokemon Go). CEO Tim Cook has called it interesting, and it’s certain Apple will do something at some point — the question is when.
As for virtual reality, less is known about Apple’s ambitions. The company likely is exploring the tech that’s gotten the attention of Samsung, Facebook and Google, but it’s unclear what its plans are for the market.