2014 was a big year for Apple, which shook up the technology industry when it unveiled the large-screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Along with the latest iPhones, Apple also introduced the latest-generation iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, a 27-inch 5K Retina iMac, its HealthKit and HomeKit platforms, the latest OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, and a sneak peek into the still unreleased Apple Watch.
Apple senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue earlier called it "the best product pipeline I've ever seen in 25 years," but Apple seems to have a lot more in store for its legions of loyal followers for 2015.
First up is the officially existent Apple Watch, which was unveiled in September along with the announcement of the new iPhones. Although late in its coming, the Apple Watch signifies Apple's foray into the nascent wearables market, a move that could solidify the budding industry. Apple has already shown off a few things about the Apple Watch, such as its S1 processor, its range of sensors and its haptic feedback system, but a lot of things are still unknown.
Specifically, we'll know more about its battery life, although Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted that the Apple Watch will need recharging every night. Pricing is also unclear for now, but we do know that the low-end Sport models will start at $349, with the top-of-the-line gold Edition Apple Watch said to run up to the thousands.
On the iPhone front, Apple is said to be working on the S versions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Like all previous S upgrades, it is likely Apple will introduce a camera upgrade for the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus. A few rumors are also abuzz saying Apple fans will finally get the hotly anticipated sapphire displays they were disappointed to hear were not used for the latest iPhones.
Also making the rounds of the Internet is a tip coming from one of Apple's suppliers, bolstered by an analyst's predictions, that Apple could be scaling back the iPhone 6 to introduce an iPhone 6S mini, an iPhone designed for those who haven't jumped on to the large-screen smartphone trend.
Apple introduces new iPads every year, so it is very likely we will see a line of new iPads in 2015, although the slates will likely only receive a processor upgrade. The iPad Air 3 could be getting the A9 processor used for the iPhone 6 while the smaller iPad mini 4 could get the A8X processor in the iPad Air 2.
There are, however, rumors that Apple could be ditching its seven-inch slate soon to focus on a much bigger rumored iPad Pro, also named iPad Air Plus in some reports. Little is known about the large-screen iPad, but sources have claimed screen sizes from 12.2 to 12.9 inches, implying that Apple could be experimenting with the best screen sizes for an enterprise-focused iPad.
The Apple TV is also set for a long overdue refresh. Word has it that Apple was supposed to introduce a next-generation Apple TV, which has evolved from the "hobby" it used to be, complete with features such as Siri, game support and full integration with the App Store. Apple is also reportedly working on a new kind of a la carte TV service where users can choose which channels to include in their subscriptions, but rigid old cable companies are said to be unwilling to change the status quo.
As for MacBooks, the most highly anticipated product we're waiting for is the super-slim 12-inch Retina MacBook that will run on a low-power Core M Broadwell processor that allows for a fanless design. For many Apple fans, this new Retina MacBook will be the star of many of Apple's products and could possibly replace the MacBook Air. The Retina MacBook Pro may also receive a minor update in the form of a redesign after receiving a Haswell processor upgrade in July last year.
OS X and iOS
Software upgrades could include new features in OS X 10.11 and iOS 9 that could take advantage of the Apple Watch, such as unlocking an Apple device when an Apple Watch is nearby. OS 8's code also reveals clues about a split-screen multitasking feature that could finally become available in iOS 9.
Other possibilities hint at high-definition (HD) music, with the newest iPhones sporting Lightning connectors that support HD music, a stylus pen hinted at by Apple patents for the technology, and an official Twitter account. A report by Fast Company says Apple has posted a job listing for a "social media expert" and has already hired Musa Tariq as its digital marketing director.
Could Apple finally be thinking of taking a more open, communicative approach with its fans? That way we won't have to rely on rumors, conflicting reports and the few hints that could be gleaned from Apple's curt responses for comments.