Right up front, let me state the obvious. Nobody knows what Apple will bring in 2017. Not even Apple. Yes, the company is that far behind in the pipeline filling and pushes the delivery envelope so much that we only know what’s coming after it gets here.
That said, here’s what to expect from Apple in the coming new year and you can take it to the bank. That doesn’t mean anything in an election year, but you get the idea. Apple could do plenty in 2017 that surprises everyone from customer to critic, but if CEO Tim Cook has shown the market, critics, and customers one thing, it’s that he doesn’t like surprises.
The Profit Of Losses
Apple may not even be surprised about revenue and profits over the past two years and I’m sure somewhere in the hallowed halls of One Infinite Way in Cupertino there’s some executive with
PowerPoint Keynote slides which say next year will be great. And crummy. At the same time. Depending. Every year has a bit of kinetic energy going into the early months and I doubt if 2017 will be much different, so it can be argued– successfully– that Apple will own most of the profits in 1) smartphones, 2) tablets, 3) personal computers, 4) smartwatches (if not all watches), and, 4) services (everything else).
What should be concerning to Apple’s well paid executives is this. Everything is going South and we’re not talking Miami Beach in January 2017. It’s South as in down. Revenue is down and that means profits are down and so are unit sales of everything that really, truly, deeply matters to Apple.
Down? iPhone revenue, unit sales, and profits. iPad revenue, unit sales, and profits. Mac revenue, unit sales, and profits. Watch? We’re not sure yet because Apple is following Amazon’s lead and only talks in superlatives about Watch, not real numbers, so we’re left to guess. However, AirPod sales in 2017 will be up a gazillion percent thanks to the delay which pushed the launch to the end of the year (2016, if you’re counting).
Here’s what I expect Apple to do in 2017 and it’s backed up by science.
a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
First, the Easy Ones:
- WWDC in June 2017 – because something normal is important
- macOS Santa Monica – I’m guessing on the monicker
- iOS 11 – Because Tim Cook doesn’t like surprises, but a name would be cool (Big Sur?)
- watchOS & tvOS – Sure. Why not? Why else have a WWDC?
- iPhone 7s – But I also see iPhone 8 with micro-bezel, OLED display, and free gold aura
- iPad Pros – It’s time to clean up the iPad mess
- iMac – Apple has millions of leftover USB-C connectors that must go somewhere
- Watch Series 3 – The number ‘3’ scares me, so does ‘4’ so how about Watch 2018?
- Apple TV, gen 5 – It’s time for 4k. Everybody but cable TV and network TV has it already
- Apple Car – Nope.
- Keyboards – Yes, a standalone keyboard with Touch ID built-in.
- Glitter – Get used to some new colors for iPhones, Macs, and iPads. Sarcoline? Wenge? Eburnean? Those are the trendy colors in Middle Earth.
- Funerals – No pomp and circumstance, probably not even a wake or a eulogy, but it’s time to say goodbye to MacBook Air, Mac mini, and yes, of course Mac Pro.
The Tough Ones:
- Shipping – Apple seems to have a growing problem with shipping anything on a timely manner except the iPhone.
- Services – Honestly, I think I’m keeping Apple’s rapidly growing Services group profitable all by my lonesome. I buy everything. I can’t do that in 2017.
- Downward Spiral – I can’t help but feel somewhat sorry for Apple the company (but not the executives with all their stock options, expensive cars, and fluency in think speak ) because everything important is going down in revenue, sales units, and profits.
Others for 2017:
- Nokia and BlackBerry will not be a thing
- Android anything will not be profitable
- Samsung Galaxy Note is dead
- Siri will get a brain
- The Swamp will not get drained (it’s filling up again with rich, old white men)
- She won’t be locked up, but won’t be back, either
- Fragmentation – is everywhere, it’s growing, it’s not pretty, it won’t go away.
Seems rather pragmatic, no?