With Eddy Cue claiming this week that the firm has ‘the best product pipeline I’ve seen in my 25 years at Apple’, many industry watchers, journalists and tech fans are pondering just what these new products might be.
The Apple rumour mill pumps out product suggestions all year round, but since CEO Tim Cook confirmed the company will release ‘new categories this year’ back in February, the mill has been working overtime.
To be fair, most of them spawn from the firm’s numerous patents, implying that there’s a chance they will actually see the light of day.
There have been rumours about an iPen Stylus, wireless projector PC and – the most talked about one – a smartwatch called the ‘iWatch’.
With this year’s WWDC just around the corner, will we finally get a glimpse of Apple’s first wearable tech product? Probably not, seeing as it’s unlikely that any hardware will actually launch, but there may be some hints in its other announcements as to what we can expect later in the year.
Personally, I’d be surprised if the iWatch makes it to market. And if it does, I’d be even more surprised if it is actually just a smartwatch.
Why? It’s safe to say that Samsung has already stolen the smartwatch crown this year. A recent report on wearable technology, published by analyst Strategy Analytics, revealed that Samsung’s Gear devices now make up 70 per cent of the market.
Globally, Samsung has a bigger chunk out of smartphones than Apple, and although the rivals do love to try and outdo each other, it seems like Apple has already missed the boat on smartwatches, especially considering market tracker The NPD Group forecasts the wearable technology market will contract in 2016 as ‘hype for wearables wears off’.
With the recent acquisition of Beats, perhaps Apple is looking towards the audio market. Fingers crossed it will finally dump the iPhone’s tinny, white headphones when the new smartphone launches. I’m much more excited to hear about a speaker or home entertainment range rather than an official iOS smartwatch anyway.
Apple has always brought exciting products to market. Yes, there were internet connected mobile phones before the iPhone, but it’s impossible to deny ‘smartphones’ are defined by their iPhone-esque design.
It’s the same with the iPod and the iPad. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player or the tablet, but it took these two things and transformed them into new products. New products that everyone wanted.
If Apple does release its own wearable tech this year, I can almost guarantee that it won’t just be a ‘smartwatch’ that tells the time and lets you read your text messages.