I do not doubt that Apple has a product roadmap in house and thousands of engineers working diligently to get products and upgrades out the door in a timely manner. What’s missing with Apple 2016 are not the resources to put out new products, but a roadmap list of products on a timeline with deadlines and launch dates, and someone in authority willing to use Steve Jobs’ whip to get products out the door. So, I offer my 2017 product roadmap to Apple’s executives free of charge.
Sir Tim Cook
Perhaps Apple’s dearth of hit products in recent years is because Tim Cook is not British or part of the Commonwealth and not eligible for an Order of British Empire award like Steve Jobs’ buddy Sir Jonny Ive. His disappoint has translated into an unwillingness to pull the trigger on new products. So, Sir Timmy, here’s my product roadmap for 2017 to infinity and beyond.
A Real Mac Pro – This new Mac version should come three version; a mini, a maxi, and a notebook; a fully upgradeable Mac that can take more RAM, more SSD storage, new graphic GPUs, an Apple-branded display that matches because OCD. Announce this line at WWDC in June 2017 starting at $1,499.
A Mac Touchscreen – Yes, Mac users have grown tired of being insulted by Microsoft PC commercials and users with Surface-whatever touchscreens. So, do a touchscreen the Mac way on iMac and Mac notebooks. Instead of touching the screen to make something happen and thereby add to arm fatigue, make the screen fully ‘point sensitive‘ in a way that anticipates which button you want to push on the screen as you begin pointing. It could happen. Announce at WWDC and launch in late summer 2017.
iPad And iPad Pro – I don’t know what Apple’s marketing geniuses are thinking but the iPad line is a huge mess. Hey, you’re selling iPads that are years old and calling them new. Anybody see a problem there? This is easy to fix. Two iPad lines. One basic, one Pro. Pro iPads use Pencil and basic iPads do not. Pro iPads also come with cellular antenna built-in, basic iPads do not. The three iPad sizes are fine, but upgrade each model every year; March would be nice. Announce these in March and ship them in March.
Apple TV 5 – This upgrade is easier than you think mostly because competitors are doing it already and there is no shame in copying. Remember Xerox Star? Apple TV should sell for $99, come with 64GB of storage, run 4k video, and be packaged with Apple TV’s three streaming TV packages; starting at $35 for 100 channels, $50 for 200 channels, and $75 a month for 300 channels. Take that, Netflix. Launch Apple TV 5 in April. One model only.
See? Easy Peasy.
iPhone 8 – Announce iOS 11 in the 2017 WWDC, of course, but reserve the hardware for a late September launch as usual. iPhone 8 should have an entirely ceramic glass case with a full unbreakable glass front and come in three sizes; 4-inch, 4.7-inch, and 5.5-inch. These models would be slightly smaller in size to current models because the bezel would be the edge of the screen. Oh, wireless charging, no standalone Home button, and in fact, no buttons at all. Make the whole thing fully waterproof, not just water resistant. One more thing. Shave $100 off the list price because you can.
Apple Watch – This is a no-brainer and should be announced at WWDC and ship in late summer. Make Watch Series Three fully standalone. That means built-in 4G LTE like the iPhone, all day battery life (I’m getting 48-hours with my Watch Series Two already) and include a selfie-cam. Oh, and make a round version to match the rectangle model.
Mac Pad – Think of this as a Mac and iPad hybrid device. It would be exactly the same size as the iPad Pro but with a detachable/attachable keyboard and run macOS Bakersfield or Death Valley or whatever the next macOS is named, but also iOS 11; so it functions like an iPad and at the push of a button it’s a Mac. An ARM powered, Apple designed A-Series ‘Gemini’ CPU. No, you won’t be able to run Windows. Do not announce this at WWDC 2017. Just launch it in early August with sufficient production to get some back-to-school lift and ramp up for the holidays. At $999 this will be a huge hit. One model, one configuration, multiple colors.
Apple Stores – These places need a small lounge, iced tea and other beverages, some comfy chairs, and snacks. Make this announcement in mid-Autumn 2017 as the first item on the 2018 product roadmap.
That wasn’t hard, now was it, Sir Tim? All fully doable, all imminently possible, all profitable, and every item will be met with long lines, many orders, and few critics.
Oh, one more thing. Forget about Apple Car. Keep working on Apple Glasses, buy Tesla, kill the Model X, cut prices across the board, and rebrand it as Apple Tesla. Elon Musk can stay if he wants, otherwise put some money into Apple Rockets.