5 Apple Products to Expect in 2015
ARTICLE CREDITS : Nathanael Arnold / Cheatsheat.com
When it comes to revealing details about its upcoming product plans, there is probably no other tech company in the world today that rivals Apple’s obsession with secrecy. Besides allowing it to develop groundbreaking products like the iPhone without tipping off competitors, Apple’s refusal to discuss its future plans has also helped the company create unprecedented levels of consumer excitement around each new product release. On the other hand, the California-based company’s notorious secrecy has also given rise to a thriving rumor mill that is dedicated to filling the information gap about the company’s products.
Due to the dearth of official information from Apple, industry watchers interested in obtaining details about the iPhone maker’s upcoming products must rely on unnamed insider sources and anonymous supply chain leaks. While the information acquired from these sources should always be taken with a grain of salt, many rumors about Apple’s upcoming products have turned out to be accurate, including the long-running rumors about the Apple Watch. Now that Apple has wrapped up its 2014 fall product refresh cycle, the Apple rumor mill has focused its attention on the products that Apple may release in 2015. Here are five products that Apple fans will see or are likely to see in 2015.
1. Product: Apple Watch
Release date: early 2015
Let’s start by getting the most obvious new product out of the way. The Apple Watch is the only product that Apple has officially confirmed is coming next year, so it’s no secret that the company’s first wearable tech product will make its debut in 2015. On the other hand, there are still many unknown details about the Apple Watch, such as its expected battery life or the prices of all the various Watch models.
Apple has only revealed that the Apple Watch will be arriving in “early 2015.” However, according to the latest rumors cited by French Apple news site IGen.fr, the Apple Watch is likely to make its debut on Valentine’s Day. Apple has been similarly vague about the pricing of the various Watch models. Although Apple revealed that the Watch will start at $349, it is still unknown how much the more expensive models will cost. Price estimates for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition collection models have ranged from around $1,200 to $10,000, according to various sources cited by TechCrunch and Forbes.
More recently, Apple’s release of the WatchKit software tools for developers revealed a few additional details about the device’s screen resolution and operational features. According to Apple, the 38 millimeter-size Watch models will feature a 272-by-340-pixel screen and the 42 millimeter versions will feature a 312-by-390-pixel screen. Watch apps will be heavily reliant on the iPhone and will deliver information through basic “Glances” or actionable notifications. While the first generation of Watch apps will require an iPhone in order to function, Apple revealed that native Watch apps will arrive later in 2015.
2. Product: Larger-screen iPad
Release date: Third quarter of 2015?
While Apple has never confirmed the existence of this product, many industry watchers believe that Apple will unveil a larger-screen iPad model sometime next year. The so-called iPad Pro or iPad Plus is rumored to feature a screen size that is over 12 inches, considerably bigger than the 7.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad models currently offered by Apple. Last year, the Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported that Apple was developing a 12.9-inch tablet aimed at North America’s education market.
However, according to rumors from Japanese blog Mac Otakara, the larger-screen iPad will feature a 12.2-inch screen similar to the size of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. The iPad Pro is rumored to have an extremely thin profile of only seven millimeters, slightly thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus. According to Mac Otakara’s sources, the larger-screen iPad will be released sometime in the third quarter of 2015.
While it is possible that the large-screen iPad is primarily intended for use in educational settings, it is also likely related to Apple’s previously announced partnership with IBM. According to Apple, the partnership with IBM will “transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps.” Besides giving enterprise and education users a larger display that is ideal for group presentations, the iPad Pro may also include custom iOS software that allows for split-screen multitasking.
3. Product: MacBook Air with Retina display
Release date: mid-2015?
Although Apple has used its Retina display technology in its line of MacBook Pro laptops since 2012, the company has yet to debut a lower-cost MacBook Air with a Retina display. Earlier this year, a report from BGR predicted that the MacBook Air with Retina display would launch in time for the 2014 holiday shopping season, based on the release of a new Intel Core M processor that could allow the implementation of a higher resolution screen without sacrificing too much battery life. However, according to sources cited by Macworld, Apple is now waiting for the next generation i5 or i7 chipsets, due to the Core M processors’ supposedly poor performance. This means that Apple’s MacBook Air with Retina Display will likely arrive sometime in 2015.
Along with the rumors about an upgraded display for the current 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models, there have also been persistent rumors about a new 12-inch MacBook Air model. As noted by MacRumors, the 12-inch MacBook Air is rumored to feature a Retina display, an ultra-slim clamshell casing, a new type of trackpad without a mechanical button, and a fan-less design. Those predictions aligned with arecent report from 9to5Mac that also suggested that the 12-inch MacBook Air would have no SD card slot or MagSafe connector and would feature the new USB Type-C ports, instead of the standard USB ports. Finally, well-connected Apple blogger Jack March predicted that the new 12-inch MacBook Air would be offered in the same three colors available for the iPhone 6 and would be released around mid-2015.
4. Product: redesigned Apple TV
Release date: sometime in 2015?
Earlier this year, there were persistent rumors that Apple was planning on expanding and improving the capabilities of its media streaming device. In March 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in negotiations with Comcast over the possibility of allowing Apple TV travel on a separate, less-congested part of the network. Another report from The Information in July suggested that Apple had plans to create a unified, Internet-based television service that would offer both live and on-demand programming. However, both initiatives appear to have stalled out due to negotiation difficulties with the cable companies and all the various content providers. For these reasons, sources cited by The Information believe that a revamped Apple TV product won’t make its debut until 2015.
While a redesigned Apple TV might just stream additional television channels, it could also provide entirely new types of services. Sources cited by the Financial Times earlier this year suggested that the upcoming Apple TV would feature support for video games as well as its own App Store. Other industry watchers have speculated that the Apple TV could be outfitted as a control hub for various connected home products that use apps created with Apple’s HomeKit tools, as predicted by Apple Insider.
Finally, there are some pundits who are still predicting the debut of an Apple television set in 2015. In an open letter published on his Shareholders’ Square Table website in October, activist investor Carl Icahn predicted that the company may enter the television set market with an “UltraHD TV set” in fiscal year 2016. This means that an Apple television set could make its debut in time for the 2015 holiday shopping season. However, it should be noted that most rumors about Apple’s television plans suggest that the company is continuing to refine its set-top box, rather than starting work on a new television set product.
5. Product: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Release date: third quarter of 2015?
With over half of the company’s annual revenue derived from its highly popular line of smartphones, it’s probably a safe bet to assume that Apple will debut at least one new iPhone model in 2015. Apple has launched its new iPhone models in the month of September over the past several years, so it is quite likely that it will continue that tradition in 2015. It also plausible that Apple will continue to offer its phablet-sized model that was introduced with the iPhone 6 Plus, since approximately 25% of Apple’s total iPhone sales have come from the 5.5-inch model, according to multiple surveys cited by Apple Insider.
Not surprisingly, there are currently few details known about any possible new features of the iPhone 7 or the iPhone 7 Plus. However, well-known tech industry commentator John Gruber recently suggested that the iPhone 7 would feature a vastly improved rear-facing camera. “The specific thing I heard is that next year’s camera might be the biggest camera jump ever,” said Gruber according to a transcript provided byBGR. “I don’t even know what sense this makes, but I’ve heard that it’s some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery.”
Another recent report from the Financial Times suggested that the Beats Music streaming service would be bundled into next year’s iOS 9. This means that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus could be some of the first Apple mobile devices to feature a built-in Beats Music app. However, it’s unknown if the music streaming service would keep the Beats brand name or be integrated into Apple’s iTunes brand. Besides a new camera system and a built-in Beats Music app, the next-generation iPhone will also likely include the usual internal upgrades, such as a new A9 processor.
That’s it for our round-up of all the new Apple products you are likely to see in 2015. Be sure to check back regularly at the Cheat Sheet to get all your latest Apple rumors and news!
INVESTMENT NEWS : ARTICLE CREDITS : YAHOO FINANCE
Icahn says ‘dramatically undervalued’ Apple should trade at $240
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said on Monday Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) stock was “still dramatically undervalued” and that it should be trading at $240, nearly double its current price.
Icahn also used an open letter to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to call for it to execute a much larger share buyback, returning to a longtime theme of the activist investor’s campaign for the iPhone maker to boost shareholder returns.
Apple shares rose as much as 1.8 percent to $130.72 by midday on Monday. The stock has gained more than a quarter since October, when Icahn first said it was undervalued.
Following pressure from Icahn and other activists, Apple boosted its share repurchase program in April to $140 billion from $90 billion announced last year and raised its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to 52 cents per share.
“It is our belief that large institutional investors, Wall Street analysts and the news media alike continue to misunderstand Apple,” Icahn wrote in the letter.
Icahn, one of Apple’s top 10 investors, has long urged the world’s most valuable company to buy back more shares and boost its dividend.
The investor said in February that he owned about 53 million shares, now worth about $6.8 billion.
“Apple is poised to enter and in our view dominate two new categories (the television next year and the automobile by 2020) with a combined addressable market of $2.2 trillion, a view investors don’t appear to factor into their valuation at all,” Icahn wrote on Monday.
Apple has yet to officially acknowledge that it is developing what would likely be an electric, self-driving car.
It has also long been expected to enter the consumer television market with a more wide-ranging product than its current Apple TV box that allows users to stream programs from iTunes and other sources, but has said little about those plans. Past expectations that Apple would develop an actual television have so far been disappointed.
It is unclear how much insight Icahn has into the iPhone maker’s plans for future products. An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
APPLE NEWS :
May 11, 2015
Apple today announced an expansion of its renewable energy and environmental protection initiatives in China, including a new multiyear project with World Wildlife Fund to significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China. The new program aims to protect as much as 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests that provide fiber for pulp, paper, and wood products. “Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives. “We believe we can run on naturally renewable resources and ensure that we protect — and create — as much sustainable working forest as needed to produce the virgin paper in our product packaging.” Apple also announced its intent to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China. Read more: apple.com/pr
April 27, 2015
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 second quarter ended March 28. The company posted quarterly revenue of $58 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $45.6 billion and net profit of $10.2 billion, or $1.66 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.8 percent compared to 39.3 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 69 percent of the quarter’s revenue. “We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac, and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.” Read more: apple.com/pr
April 27, 2015
Apple today announced that its board of directors has authorized an increase of more than 50 percent to the company’s program to return capital to shareholders. Under the expanded program, Apple plans to utilize a cumulative total of $200 billion of cash by the end of March 2017. As part of the revised program, the board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $140 billion from the $90 billion level announced last year. In addition, the company expects to continue to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units. The board has also approved an increase of 11 percent to the company’s quarterly dividend, and has declared a dividend of $0.52 per share, payable on May 14, 2015, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 11. “We believe Apple has a bright future ahead, and the unprecedented size of our capital return program reflects that strong confidence,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “While most of our program will focus on buying back shares, we know that the dividend is very important to many of our investors, so we’re raising it for the third time in less than three years.” Read more: apple.com/pr
April 14, 2015
Apple today announced it will hold its 26th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 8 through June 12 at San Francisco’s Moscone West, with more sessions than ever before streamed live to developers worldwide. WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs, and the Apple Design Awards. “The App Store ignited an app ecosystem that is simply amazing, forever changing the lives of customers and creating millions of jobs worldwide,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’ve got incredible new technologies for iOS and OS X to share with developers at WWDC and around the world, and can’t wait to see the next generation of apps they create.” Read more: apple.com/pr
April 14, 2015
Apple today announced that ResearchKit, a software framework designed for medical and health research, is now available. Medical researchers will be able to use ResearchKit to develop their own apps, and developers can also contribute new research modules to the open source framework. “We are delighted and encouraged by the response to ResearchKit from the medical and research community and the participants contributing to medical research. Studies that historically attracted a few hundred participants are now attracting participants in the tens of thousands,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “Medical researchers all over the world are actively exploring how ResearchKit can help them study even more diseases, and we believe the impact on global understanding of health and wellness will be profound.” Read more: apple.com/pr
April 14, 2015
Apple has updated Final Cut Pro X, Motion, and Compressor with new features for motion graphics and key enhancements to accelerate video editing, packaging, and delivery. Final Cut Pro 10.2 introduces stunning 3D titles that are easy to use, improved masking for color grading and effects, native support for more camera formats, and GPU-accelerated RED RAW processing. Motion 5.2 extends the power of 3D titles with the ability to create custom materials and environments and instantly publish them to Final Cut Pro X. Compressor 4.2 makes it easy to package a movie for sale on the iTunes Store. “From Hollywood blockbuster directors to first-time movie makers, Final Cut Pro X is changing the way we edit movies today,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.Read more: apple.com/pr
March 9, 2015
Apple today announced that Apple Watch will be available April 24 to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the U.S. Apple Watch brings an entirely new way to receive information at a glance and interact with the world through third-party apps designed specifically for the wrist. “Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before.”Read more: apple.com/watch
March 9, 2015
Apple today unveiled the all-new MacBook, a thinner and lighter line of notebooks available in gold, silver, and space gray aluminum finishes. MacBook features a 12-inch Retina display; a full-size keyboard; the all-new Force Touch trackpad; a compact USB-C port for data transfer, video out, and charging in a single connector; and a new battery designed to deliver all-day life. “Apple has reinvented the notebook with the new MacBook, and at just 2 pounds and 13.1 millimeters, it’s the thinnest and lightest Mac ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Every component of the MacBook reveals a new innovation. From its fanless design, ultrathin Retina display, and full-size keyboard that’s 34 percent thinner, to its all-new Force Touch trackpad, versatile USB-C port, and breakthrough terraced battery design, the new MacBook is the future of the notebook.” Read more: apple.com/macbook
March 9, 2015
Apple has updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air. “Today, the popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air all received significant upgrades,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest processors, more powerful graphics, faster flash, longer battery life, and the all-new Force Touch trackpad. We’re also bringing the latest processors and graphics and faster Thunderbolt 2 to the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.” Read more: apple.com/pr
March 9, 2015
Apple today announced ResearchKit, an open-source software framework designed for medical and health research that can help doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps. World-class research institutions have already developed apps with ResearchKit for studies on asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. “iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before.” Read more: apple.com/researchkit
March 9, 2015
Apple and HBO today announced HBO NOW is premiering next month, making an HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the first time ever. iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app as a standalone service to watch HBO’s original programming, Hollywood hit movies, documentaries, sports, and comedy specials for $14.99 a month. “HBO NOW offers a new generation of HBO fans many of the best TV programs in the world without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Now, with the same simplicity as buying an app, customers can subscribe to HBO NOW and instantly start viewing their favorite HBO programs as they air — this is huge.” Read more: apple.com/pr
February 25, 2015
After researching several workflows, directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra decided to edit “Focus” — a major new Warner Bros. film starring Will Smith — entirely in Final Cut Pro X. The results were even better than they’d expected. Final Cut Pro X helped them deliver the movie on time and under budget, and it played and looked just as they’d envisioned it. “I’ve cut on all the other systems, and I can easily say I’m three times faster on Final Cut Pro X,” says Ficarra. Read more: apple.com/final-cut-pro