We always have a vigilant eye on the future of tech, especially for new products that are coming our way this year. Jon’s review of CES 2018 gave us a look at what some of the world’s biggest companies are plotting for the year ahead. Apple of course no longer attend CES, probably out of spite in having to share the limelight with others. But also that they like to do things their own way these days. So, those of you interested in all things Apple or are planning to purchase a new iPhone or other Apple product this year, here is a brief overview of Apple products planned and predicted in 2018.
Apple HomePod – Due Early 2018
This is Apple’s answer to the current zeitgeist for smart speakers in your home. Currently, the Amazon Echo, Google’s Home and Sonus One have the market pretty much sewn up.
Apple hopes to get ahead of the competition by positioning their speaker as having the best sound of all rival products, surpassing even the current leader Sonus One. Add AI interaction via Siri, integration with Apple services such as Apple Music and Home devices e.g. lights, heating etc. they hope to have a winner on their hands. Whether they can pull all of this off remains to be seen. Apple originally had planned to release the HomePod in time for last Christmas but was forced to delay until early 2018. Latest rumours suggest it could be out very soon. We in sunny Ireland(sic) may not be in the initial launch countries, so our wait could be a little longer. Expect to price around €250-300.
Apple iPhone SE 2 – Early 2018
Apple released the current iPhone SE in March 2016 to cater for customers who prefer smaller phones and who don’t like the current trend for large sized phones. The 4” iPhone SE has proved to be a big hit. Unsurprising it is expected that Apple will release a refresh this year with new and improved internals, camera and possibly wireless charging. If Apple keeps to the same release time-frame as the original, then it could be released as early as March 2018.
iPhone XI, iPhone 9 and iPhone 9S – September 2018
Apple has for the past many years released new iPhones in September each year. We have yet to hear naming conventions for the new phones, so we are working on guesstimates at the moment. Don’t expect major design or form factor changes this year. It will likely be an iterative update cycle. Current rumours point to improved internals for all the new iPhones, such as more powerful chips, better battery and camera.
There is a rumour that Apple may have cracked how to integrate the Face ID InfraRed Camera into the photo Camera. This could mean a smaller “notch” at the top of the iPhone XI, which would be welcome news and could point to Apple’s plans to eliminate the notch completely in future updates. Other rumours suggest Apple may introduce a larger sized iPhone XI Plus also. The tension is building already!
Apple Air Pod 2, Watch 4 and Air Power wireless charger – 2018
The Air Pod has been a big seller since it’s launch last Summer. Even now, they are still hard to come by in stores and online. Some rumours suggest a new model later in the year but this could be more likely for 2019.
A new Watch 4 is expected later in the year. Very little in the way of rumours exist at the moment bar some additional features such as Glucose sensor and EKG heart rate sensor. A design change is possible but not expected.
Apple has already announced they are working on the Air Power wireless chargers for the iPhone X, 8, 8Plus and Watch. It will allow for two items to be charged simultaneously. No specific date announced beyond “2018”.
iOS12, WatchOS 5, Mac 10.14 and TVOS 12 (Demoed June 2018, Release Autumn 2018).
Apple traditionally announces upgrades to their software at the annual WWDC conference, held in June. Expect Security updates with some new features and functionality.
iPad Updates – Mid to Late 2018
Apple is expected to deliver updates to their iPad lineup this year. Rumours at the moment suggest updates to the low-cost iPad in early to mid-2018. An iPad pro update is also expected with some internal improvements later in the year.
OK, I just added this in because it would be cool to see an Apple car however unlikely it is. Apple has though admitted that they are working on autonomous driving and potentially delivering the software behind this for other vehicles to use. They already have autonomous test cars on the road in the US. It’s unlikely we will see anything this year, but we may get hear details on what exactly Apple is working on.
More likely might be Apple’s CarPlay getting some new features as smartphone companies start entering more spaces you find yourself in every day.