Like it or don’t, ready or not, 2017 is here and moving at the same unfortunate speed as time did in 2016. Except, as we age, it seems as if time moves faster, but that’s another issue. Apple starts 2017 much the way it did in 2016 with a giant pile of cash, a billion or so somewhat loyal customers, hundreds of stores, many tens of thousands of employees, and still just a small number of products.
From what my aging mind can remember, Apple brought us just one new products in 2016– AirPods (and that one barely made it). No, the new Watch models, iPhone models, and MacBook and MacBook Pro models are not new, being little more than iterations of previous versions. AirPod is new.
I want a pair. And I don’t even like earbuds.
It’s difficult to keep a wish list limited when you’re dealing with a company that has so many beloved products, so many loyal customers, and so much money in the bank; U.S. and abroad. Apple could do anything and afford everything. Buy Adobe. Buy Tesla. Buy France. Buy some politicians and bring all those overseas profits back to the U.S. with lesser taxes, and then buy Adobe and Tesla.
Here’s my simple wish list for 2017.
iPhone 8 – skip the tick tock of iPhone 6s then 6s then 7 then 7s. Go right to 8 because with an improved camera with a wider wide angle and a real zoom, a quad-HD OLED micro bezel display because 10th anniversary. If you just can’t get enough OLED screens and high end cameras, the tick tock to iPhone 7s and 7s Plus, but iPhone 8 for the high end, $1,000 model.
Mac Pro – apparently no one is buying these tiny beasts and the reasons why are simple. It hasn’t been upgraded since it was launched more than three years ago. Bring it into 2017 with USB-C to Thunderbolt 3 ports, options to upgrade GPUs and CPUs, and get competitive with the price tag.
Mac Pad – this is a no-brainer; an entry-level Mac with a touchscreen, ala Windows 10 PCs but running Apple’s own ARM-based A-Series CPUs which already are as powerful as Intel’s mSeries. It’s OK if it doesn’t run Windows and Linux.
iPad Pros – make all the iPads Pro so they all can use Pencil and Smart Connector and Smart Keyboard. And stop selling models that are three years old.
Apple Car – ‘to car or not to car’ is the question. Either do something or stop doing whatever you’re not doing about Apple Car now. You’re losing daylight, Apple and car makers are lining up to deliver the future, even if they’re not sure what it is.
Round Watch – Why? Because you can. The future will be thinner, smaller, lighter, faster, so why not have a round Watch? You own the smartwatch industry already, why not be a leader?
Apple TV – I hope channels as apps are not the future of television because navigating applications is far worse than navigating Cable TV with a remote that has 79 buttons on it (maybe not that many; I lost count). Fix Apple TV so it is actually easier to use than Cable TV, not more difficult.
Mac Upgrades – yes, competition copies Apple more than itself, but Windows PC hardware looks pretty good for much less, so either get competitive with pricing, or get better with hardware, but I would accept some of each. That nonsense about Intel’s chips with greater RAM reducing battery life doesn’t hold much water when the new MacBook Pro models have crummy battery life anyway. Macs should be built– all of them– in such a way that users can upgrade certain components themselves. Batteries, RAM, SSD storage come to mind.
Apple Displays – maybe the old Cinema-cum-Thunderbolt display didn’t sell well because they were not upgraded to new technology and they were priced moon-like. How about a range of Apple branded displays that work with all Macs, sport Retina 4k and 5k, and work as an external display for iPhones and iPads? It’s doable, Apple. I would buy a couple.
One More Thing – because everyone likes a nice, unexpected surprise.
Think Different – whatever happened to Jobs’ way of thinking? You don’t find much of it in Cupertino these days, and I miss some of the brash, hubris-laden new product presentations of yesteryear.
Simple is better, small is beautiful, and $200-billion or so in the bank could make it happen. Oh, one more thing. Apple, can you afford to get a bit more competitive on pricing? That might actually bring more customers into the ecosystem, stem the sales slide that seems to have infected Apple the past couple of years, and help us believe that Apple is the source of Think Different and computers for the rest of us.