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2015, the biggest year for Apple – since 2014

2014: what a year! It was what we had been waiting for at least five years, when the last great product from Apple was launched.

2014 came, and it came with everything! Larger screens for iPhones (yes, in the plural: 4.7 and 5.5 inches); iMac with high resolution 5K (even before 4K became popular in the world); Advances in operating systems and the main one: the entry into a new product category (wearables, with the arrival of the Apple Watch) and services (mobile payment system, with Apple Pay). Definitely 2014 was a giant year, but it was just the kick of a new Apple.

iPod

The iPod line was undoubtedly one of Apple's most important. And that's the problem: it was, in the past. In 2001, when it was presented, its slogan by itself it was an innovation: 1,000 songs in your pocket. An extremely portable device, with a high capacity and a considerable battery.

The problem for the beloved iPod line was that it started to be incorporated into other products. Today we have the iPod inside the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. It does not make much sense to continue to have a production line, teams and a whole structure for a product that has been absorbed by others. If iPods still sold well, they would undoubtedly remain on the agenda, but each year their sales plummet more and more.

iPod touch 5th generation

It is logical that there is a market niche. There are people who love their iPod shuffle at the gym, kids who love their iPod touch but overall, there is no reason to update or give iPods as much attention. In addition, Apple has always been a company ?focused on a few products?. With the arrival of new lines / categories, those that are no longer prominent tend to be discontinued over time, and my bet that at least one iPod will have the same fate as the classic, which was discontinued last year, I believe it is the nano, leaving only the shuffle and the touch, which still ?will remain dull?.

And what would be the solution to eternalize the second Apple revolution? Introduce it definitively in the other lines. The Music application (Music) would again be called ?iPod?, and would bring with it some resources so that the iPod brand is never lost. In the brief and merely illustrative concept below, I glimpse what the arrival of the ?Click Wheel touch? could be (a mix of the classic iPod interface and multi-touch).

Click Wheel Touch Concept

The act of increasing / decreasing volume would be done as before, sliding the circle the difference is that now it would be only sensitive to the touch.

Will we have any updates on the line? I find it very difficult, but if we believe in the arrival of the sixth generation iPod touch, with Touch ID, Apple Pay and 4.7 inch Retina HD screen.

iPad

Recently, in my review of the iPad Air 2, I said that today it is the best tablet available on the market, but it still sins in some points that are perpetuated since its first years of life. The iPad does not make good use of the giant screen, not even in Apple's own apps, let alone third-party apps. I believe that this is the first point to be explored by Apple in 2015 I will talk more about this in the typical iOS 9, but I also think that we will have big leaps in hardware.

Starting with the iPad Air 3, maintaining the same design, but winning a Retina HD screen particularly I insist that I can't get the feeling of ?touching the pixels? as I have on the iPhone. A battery with greater autonomy (even the current one is already satisfactory), gains in processing and graphics with the A9 / A9X, and, of course, equating the camera system with that of the iPhones 6 (making video recording even superior).

Strong rumors still speak of the arrival of a 12-inch iPad, and since the ?more-than-rumored? iPad mini came to life in 2012 (I, for one, doubted it), I am sure that one day it will happen. Since there are not many ?resources? to put on the tablet, the tendency to create new screen sizes (to catch more niche markets) is even more imminent now, that sales in the last quarter were 22%. Even though Tim Cook praises this in a commendable way, such as the decline in the overall tablet market and the cannibalization of other products, a very bad number for a company that prides itself on always growing.

The most interesting part is that between 2001 and 2008 most iPad prototypes had screens larger than 9.7 inches, but they did not come to life possibly due to technical limitations of the time and not due to lack of interest. I would easily have products with large screens today (a 17 ? MacBook and a 12 ? iPad, for example).

iPad Pro

Working, editing photos, playing games and watching videos on a high-resolution touch-sensitive screen, and with a satisfying battery, it must be wonderful. That's why the bet is so high on a giant iPad. But what would his name be? ?IPad Pro?, ?iPad Air 2-3 Plus?? My bets on ?iPad Air 3 Plus?. This is the moment when you stop and think: ?Thiago has gone crazy, what a more anti-Apple name.? Yes, not ideal, but it was Apple that invented to put the ?Air? there in the middle and, after last year (when it insisted on resurging with numbering on tablets), this is the most plausible name.

Line of iPads (2015)

But why on ?iPad Pro?? This way we will probably have an ?iPad Pro?, an iPad Air 3 and an iPad mini 4. This would confuse even more attentive consumers, imagine the less informed! So I think that this giant iPad will be exactly like the next generation of tablets (the iPad Air 3), only with the suffix ?Plus?. I still venture to say that one day we will have an ?iPad Air 2/3/4 mini?, being exactly the same as the 9.7 inch (technical characteristics and specifications), but with a smaller screen.

The only plausible differential of the ?Plus? would be the existence of a stereo speaker system, in addition to a stiffer battery. There is also a rumor about a stylus for iPad Air 3 Plus. I will never buy an iPad again if that becomes a reality.

Apple emphasized the stylus and I have a particular horror of this kind of accessory. I think the experience of use is * bad *. On the other hand, I'm not exactly the target audience for this product, the accessory has a much greater appeal for those who use the tablet with drawing apps, etc. It remains to be seen whether Apple will launch it at all or leave this market to other companies.

Regarding the official launch of the 12-inch iPad, I highly doubt that it will be done without updating your younger brother. I also find it difficult to paint with the Apple Watch, dividing the public's attention. So, I believe it will be one of those rumors slowly cooked until the end of the year until October / November, when finally the line will probably be updated.

As for the iPad mini, I believe it is the one with the most uncertain future on the line. For the nomenclature not to be so confused, they should keep this iPad mini 3 for another year, making its price more affordable. And considering that with the iPad Air becoming increasingly portable and lightweight, the iPad mini may have its existence contested in the not too distant future. I also believe in a change in the capacity options for the models, thinking about the price jumps between each line being compensated by the capacity.

IPad line prices

The jump between tablet models would be $ 200; at the same time, each model would offer double the previous model and the prices currently practiced.

Beats

Soon the biggest acquisition ever made in Apple's history will be one year old, and I believe that in 2015 we will see the first changes in the new subsidiary.

Beats acquired by Apple

I believe that the first ?Apple Beats? product will be the phone that comes with the Apple Watch. As we know, Apple's smart watch has no headphone jack and I highly doubt that it will not announce an ?EarPods Wireless by Apple Beats? at the Watch launch event.

In addition, the line must be very dry. And even with the perpetuation of the Beats brand, a Ma – although discreet, should be added to packaging and product manuals.

App concept for Apple Watch - Beats

The Beats Music service is not yet available in Brazil and is already considered by Apple and the integration with the system should be strengthened in the next update. I would bet on a fusion between Beats Music and iTunes Radio, resulting in a dedicated / native app for both iOS and Watch.

iPhone

The company's current flagship deserves special attention and, after 2014, the year in which it gained its biggest leap in history, I find it difficult for Apple to launch an ?S? line for a very special reason: sales records. At this time, the iPhone 6 was much more than the iPhone 5 was at the time of the release of the iPhone 5s, so applying the same recipe from years past on duty to repeat itself in 2015.

iPhones 6 and 6 Plus

The design difference between the iPad Air and the Air 2 is null, except for the difference in thickness between both and the mute button that disappeared in the second generation Air. I believe the same thing will happen now with iPhones. We will have the thinnest iPhones 7 and 7 Plus with some external changes, but not a clearly renewed design. How about a 6.1mm thickness, equivalent to the iPad Air 2 and the fifth generation iPod touch? Or maybe a camera without a bulge

The reduction would represent 12% and 15%, respectively, in relation to the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus and would already bring the feeling of ?new? that they need to undergo in a major update. Many people must think: why not make it less thin and with more battery? Because being thinner draws more attention and is part of the company's philosophy. Thinner and thinner with less battery and more beautiful.

But battery should also be one of the highlights of the new iPhones. If the A8 is much more economical than the A7, imagine what a year of work (with a focus on that) can provide a new generation of smartphones! It's not just the size of the battery that determines its power

In addition to being thinner, a new processor and longer battery life, the biggest leap in cameras is also expected for the next generation of iPhones. A high-quality 21MP lens that promises ?DSLR quality? photos, enhanced self-exposure to light, and 4K video recording appear to be part of Apple's plans.

The front camera should also be updated further with the wave of selfies that doesn't pass. A good request for the new iPhones would be an improved audio system, since there is no point in making an excellent video with ?half-mouthed? audio.

Also talked about technology Force Touch, present on Apple Watch. It allows not only the recognition of the touch but also the force applied by the user, distinguishing a touch from a ?pressed? one. This would undoubtedly allow for many advances and new possibilities for applications and services.

About the recurring rumors (sapphire screen, water resistance and wireless charging), the only one who would discard the first one right away. Although it is more resistant to scratches, more susceptible to breaks the current ?ion-x? screen is already quite satisfactory.

I believe that we will continue to have new iPhones in September, available in two different models (4.7 and 5.5 inches), with three capacities (32GB, 64GB and 128GB) and in the same current colors (space gray, silver and gold) who knows with the addition of a red, further strengthening ties with the organization (RED).

Mac

This year also promises to bring about significant changes in the computer line, especially in the notebook line. If we think about it, the last major design update took place in 2013 with the amazing Mac Pro, but both the iMac and MacBooks perpetuate the same style that has been adopted for years.

In the case of the iMac we are talking about October 2012, when it gained a significantly thinner design. But nothing compared to last year's update, when he won one of the highest resolution screens available on the market (5K). In 2015 it is expected that the big resolution jump will also reach the smaller model, 21.5 inches. However, nothing very surprising awaited.

The same cannot be said for MacBooks. The last major update to the Pro line also occurred in 2012, when in addition to the Retina display and a completely redesigned internal architecture, its dimensions were drastically reduced. Meanwhile, the Air line is satisfied with medium updates and nothing really new since 2010.

I have for me that this year we will have a big change in the scenario of Apple's portable computers, starting in the first semester with the arrival of the new line: only MacBook, replacing MacBooks Air. Available in a single 12-inch version excluding the current 11.6 and 13.3-inch models, this MacBook promises to continue the philosophy introduced in 2008 with the first MacBook Air, a precursor to current ultrabooks.

Mockup of the alleged new 12-inch MacBook Air

With a Retina display, a truly thin design, high processing power, a powerful battery and a reduced number of I / O (inputs and outputs), I believe that we will have ?the future of computers? being revealed again by Apple. In a shot a little higher and with less basis in the rumors, I would bet that Apple has the intention, yes, to unify the Air and Pro lines and with this supposed discontinuity of the Air line that would be more evident.

At first we will have only the MacBook (renovated and with 12 inches) and the current MacBooks Pro (13 and 15 inches). However, nothing would surprise me if later in the year Apple introduced a new MacBook (again, only MacBook) with a screen between 14 and 16 inches, focusing on a future discontinuation of the Pro line.

Even though it is ultra-thin, its larger size can allow more I / O that professional users love and need so much and would give continuity to the idea of ??not expanding / complicating the company's product range, but rather simplifying it.

As for the resources of this new line, I see two impasses. The first is the imminent reduction in I / O, which could be exploited with a new portable data storage peripheral that connects to the Mac via Bluetooth or some other wireless technology, in a practical and intuitive way, making the fact of having only one Available USB port is a minor problem. Despite being frightening, when Apple abandoned the floppy disk, FireWire, optical drive and other technologies, it was also a shock at first. The only annoying part is that they really failed to boost the Thunderbolt accessory market, and if that MacBook comes without a Thunderbolt port, it will most likely be the first indication that Apple is no longer betting on technology.

Mockup of the alleged new 12-inch MacBook Air

The second impasse is the Touch ID. Both iPhones and iPads already have Apple's advanced fingerprint sensor. But in my view, the problem with bringing him to the Mac is totally tied to security. IOS is much more closed than OS X, and it may be that due to this greater opening of the operating system, this feature does not arrive now.

iOS 9 + OS X

Surprisingly, we are already in the second month of the year and we have no strong rumors about the main features of the next Apple operating systems which are due to be presented at WWDC (in the middle of the year).

Illustration for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

I believe that the biggest bets are what has not yet come, with one or two ?new? and not yet imagined / disclosed resources. In addition to a continuity in the increasing integration between the systems, I think we can expect a feature that connects the Touch ID of the iPhone / iPad to the Mac via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing the computer to be unlocked without having digital access to the computer. user in fact. Still focusing on integration, I think it is more than plausible for Siri to finally (finally, after four years!) Reach the Mac. And who knows, she may not be able to interact between devices, such as configuring a Maps route or setting an alarm on the iPhone by Siri on the Mac.

Siri - iOS 6 vs. iOS 7

Speaking of Siri, last year Apple was looking for professionals specialized in voice service in our language, and after the iPhone sales in the Brazilian market had folded up (yes, folded!), I believe that our turn has come. Not to mention the external pressure, with Cortana (personal assistant at Microsoft) improving more and more. The arrival of the Apple Watch, which naturally relies heavily on voice service, can also boost progress beyond the boost to CarPlay, which has yet to take off.

Control Center - OS X Yosemite

Apple also considered taking the iOS Control Center to OS X, but due to some problem I believe that the interface would not be mature yet it preferred to cancel / postpone the arrival of the feature. And for the latest events, they have not regretted it.

ITunes Widget 12.1

In the latest iTunes update, Apple added the widget of the Central Notification player

In addition, the presence of ?Do Not Disturb? itself indicates that the specific Control Center will not come to life, but that we will increasingly have a more streamlined Notification Center. In particular, I found it to be in very good taste; I don't know if on the Mac, with screens between 11.6 and 27 inches, it would make sense to have two parallel switches.

Photos for OS X

Speaking of postponed projects, believe me or not the new Photos app for OS X was * filed * from the company's website even though it was already presented at WWDC last year and previously promised for the beginning of 2015.

We know that these extended periods of Apple are usually big euphemisms for "we don't know when we will launch, but we plan on it in the next six months". It may be that even before WWDC (this year) he paints for action, but I put more faith in a game of Craig Federighi on stage, saying that he delayed more and that, now, she is ready and comes in OS X 10.11. The worst part of all this is that the company itself has already spoken out and confirmed that iPhoto and Aperture will be discontinued.

For iOS 9 I also expect a major update regarding the use of screens. Today we have screens available for iOS devices with 4, 4.7, 5.5, 7.9 and 9.7, maybe a 12.2-inch screen in the future; Apple can?t keep pushing with the belly the optimization of its applications that look like stretched versions in all of them. What's the point of having 12 inches when the features are the same as on a 4.7 inch screen? The time has come for the UI / UX teams to get into action and solve this!

I would also bet on the so-called iOS file management application. I don't know what is missing to put a Finder / iCloud Drive on iOS in order to manage all of our available documents, photos and files.

Both systems are expected to be available for testing in June and released sometime in the autumn in the northern hemisphere. My personal bet for the name of OS X 10.11: Big Sur.

Apple TV

O set-up box Apple's is definitely a product that lives more on speculation than on results. Proof of this is that since 2012 we have not had a hardware update. We have not had a significant advance in the interface and resources for four years. Even so, from time to time the product is the target of rumors and a ?major update in process?. I believe that 2015 is finally the year for a new Apple TV to hit the market, after all, in today's one that the company openly confirms that it is an interesting and promising market. After reaching sales of 25 million units, Apple TV tends to stop being just one hobby.

Starting with the hardware, the current Apple TV equipped with an A5 processor, Wi-Fi 802.11n and support for Full HD (1080p) screens. At least * the natural evolution is that it will be equipped with the latest processors, A8 / A8X / A9, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and gain support for high resolution 4K screens.

A recurring rumor is the possibility of her winning a system similar to Kinect (from Microsoft), allowing interactions with the device through movements. In addition, it could also replace AirPort Express, becoming a media center and Wi-Fi router which makes a lot of sense.

If these five points (processing, connectivity, high resolution, interactivity and AirPort) are met, I would be more than satisfied with the product. Not least because I do not expect any great news in terms of design, at least in its housing.

New Apple TV Software Concept

The interface design really interests me. The current interface has been going on for a long time and, for what it offers today, it no longer has such a good experience. The first point of the new operating system (Apple TV Software 8.0) would be this. In addition, since March 2012 there has been talk about the long-awaited arrival of applications and the opening of the App Store and an SDK (software development kit, or software development kit) for Apple TV should be key points in delaying the project.

Creating a good experience for third-party apps shouldn't be an easy job and, being quite pessimistic, I believe that this is the reason why we still don't see the App Store coming along with the fourth generation of Apple TV.

Another point to be explored is the services offered by it. Much has been said that Apple would even try to "exclude" the major cable operators from the move (dealing directly with who creates the content). Everything indicates, however, that she was unable to establish the necessary partnerships for this and would be studying a new format. I wouldn?t be surprised to have, for example, a FOX channel on the new set-up box whereby it would be possible to subscribe to specific content or specific channels.

In the scenario that I think is most likely, rumors about Apple TV will reheat after the launch of the Apple Watch whether or not the wearable being able to be an integral part of the new resources and dragging on until the end of the year with strong possibilities of being pushed to the beginning of 2016; perhaps this new Apple TV will be presented in the same style as the Apple Watch (well before its official launch), featuring hardware news, recreated software and new services and just ahead of the App Store.

Apple Watch

The main product of 2014 will enter the 2015 account. The Apple Watch is undeniably the prodigal son of Tim Cook. He bets all of his chips on him and hopes to immortalize himself. If the clock wins and I think it has everything for it, the CEO can lay his head on the pillow with the sense of accomplishment in the post-Jobs era.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is by far one of the company's most risky products as it is both indispensable for some and totally superfluous for others. A niche product has a lot of that, but the risk is great when attention to it is praised and especially when a company the size of Apple bets so many segments on a single product.

A product of communication, health, fitness, a luxury / style item, a means of payment and, of course, a complement to the iPhone: never can a product have so many implicit functions and in June, when the API (application programming interface, or full application programming interface) is released to developers, this list will grow substantially.

At first, developers will only have access to Glances and notices, but at WWDC 2015 full access to the APIs will be given, enabling fully dedicated and native applications. So I expect a lively end of the year for this product.

Even betting hard, Apple knows that until the product engages in popular taste its sales will not even come close to the flagship (the iPhone), which in the last quarter sold an incredible 74.4 million units. It also should not reach the level of just over 20 million iPads and 5.5 million Macs sold at the end of 2014. In a free kick, for Apple to consider the mission accomplished in the first year, I believe that sales should be 30-40 million a year.

One of my favorite points in this release is that emotion of imagining every detail (such as the box, the manual, the packaging of the bracelets, the setup through the application on the iPhone, etc.). This emotion we only have when Apple launches an entirely new product, and not just the continuation of something we already know.

In the rest, from what we already know, I find the Apple Watch extremely beautiful. I intend to purchase the standard watch with as many bracelets as possible. Few are the points that I disagree with the company, such as the way to recharge, rectangular screen despite knowing that numerous prototypes were made and each non-decision must have a perfectly explainable reason.

White Apple Watch, front and side

I confess that I am very much looking forward to the first presentation of the year, which should take place in the coming weeks. In it we will see the last details of the Apple Watch, where it selects to be initially sold, its prices, etc. Remember the international madness that was the launch of the last iPhone? Now imagine a product with ?thousands of combinations? possible!

The sales step-by-step should be like this: choose the collection (Sport, Watch or Edition), the color, the size (38mm or 42mm) and finally, the bracelet. Even knowing that they will have some internal capacity, I highly doubt that the user can choose that. At most a standard variation, without the choice being made by customers. Example: Watch would come with one capacity while Sport, with another.

On prices, another big question. So far we know that the most basic model will cost $ 350. I imagine (agreeing with the staff of 9to5Mac) that this is the price for the 38mm model in the plastic version and without sapphire screen (the Apple Watch Sport). I imagine the jump for the model (42mm) is around $ 50-100; the 38mm stainless steel Apple Watch would cost $ 500, while the 42mm model would cost $ 550-600; about the Edition, rumors point to prices between US $ 1,000 and US $ 5,000 I prefer not to risk

These details, in addition to the dimensions of the screen, the device, weight, specifications, prices, part of the bracelets sales, water resistance and, of course, the release date, will be clarified sometime until April this day that Tim Cook looks forward to.

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New MacBooks, even better iPhones, Apple Watch, 12-inch iPad, recreated Apple TV, Beats headphones signed by Apple, iOS 9 and OS X 10.11: let the year 2015 begin!