Apple Had A Pretty Good (And Busy) Year
2015 was a particularly impressive and busy year for Apple. Indeed, the last twelve months have seen the iPhone maker take some risks in launching entirely new products or introducing new services. Before, people either think of Apple as iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs -- but in 2015, Apple began offering its first ever wearable device, a music streaming subscription service, an updated TV streaming box, and a new tablet device for workplace settings.
All these new things may not feel too Apple-like. But deep down, Apple is still the same Apple. Yup, it still introduces new models for its iPhone line of products (which make up about two thirds of its total revenue stream) every year. But this time, the company has decided to diversify its product line a little bit.
Speaking of revenue, some things never change for Apple. The successful release of its newest iPhone models -- the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus -- have made 2015 one of the the company’s most lucrative ever. And even though this year was only considered an “S” year, in terms of its iPhone launches, Apple still managed to have near record sales numbers, buoyed no doubt by its decision to release the new iPhones in the Chinese market simultaneously with the US and the UK markets.
iPhone releases notwithstanding, Apple had a rather busy and complicated 2015. The first to come to mind of course is the official launch of the Apple Watch, the company’s first and sole smartwatch offering to date. Even though Apple’s smartwatch was first unveiled in 2014, it was this year that the device truly made its mark. Not only did the Apple Watch go on to become one of the most popular and commercially successful smartwatches in recent times, it also helped immensely in bringing more awareness for wearable devices. No, wearables are not mainstream gadgets yet, but partly because of the launch of the Apple Watch, more and more people than ever are buying wearables. Furthermore, because of the buzz generated by Apple’s smartwatch, other tech manufacturers have been galvanized into releasing their own wearable offerings, providing an even wider range of products for mobile users to choose from.
Apple has introduced plenty of iPad devices in the past, but none as big and as feature heavy as its new iPad Pro, which comes with a 12.9 inch display screen, plus the option of an attachable and detachable keyboard as well as a stylus (the Apple Pencil).
In the area of home entertainment, Apple also introduced in September earlier this year an updated version of its Apple TV, which is long overdue (the last update to the Apple TV was three years ago).
Then do not forget Apple Music -- borne of Apple’s acquisition of Beats (for $3 billion in 2014). After the initial three month free trial subscription period, Apple Music went on to sign up 6.5 million paying customers. And this number is expected to rise -- Apple has also made sure to launch an Android version of the music streaming subscription service, which means it will not be made exclusively available to music loving iOS users only.
After having accomplished another banner year in 2015, what can we expect from Apple in 2016? New iPhones are a given and people will always be excited for those. What is harder to predict is in the other areas -- for instance, what is next for the Apple Watch? Can we expect enhancements to the Apple TV or the Apple Music service? Or is Apple cooking up something completely new next year? One thing is sure though: you can expect Apple to be on top again.