What to expect from Apple in 2016: Apple Watch 2, iPhone 6c, iPhone 7, Skylake MacBooks, and More

What to expect from Apple in 2016: Apple Watch 2, iPhone 6c, iPhone 7, Skylake MacBooks, and More

It is the beginning of the new year 2016 and hence new and increased expectations from a great brand. The passed year 2015, saw the launch of the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus, the new Apple TV, and the iPad Pro. The company introduced a whole new category, the iPhone 6s, and 6s Plus saw the debut of 3D Touch, and the iPad Pro brought Apple’s largest iOS device yet.

Apple ready for Great Expectations from 2016. What is in store?

2015 saw a huge number of new products and software updates, and 2016 promises to be just as exciting. So we’ll be discussing here some of the expected products from Apple in the new year:

1- Apple Watch 2:

A second-generation Apple Watch is in the works and could launch in early 2016. Early rumors suggest the Apple Watch 2 will perhaps include:

  1. some of the sensors that were nixed from the first version, including skin conductivity, blood oxygen level, and blood pressure.
  2. The device may be thinner than the first Apple Watch,
  3. and it could include features like a FaceTime camera to allow Apple Watch users to make and receive FaceTime calls and an
  4. upgraded Wi-Fi chip that may allow the Apple Watch to do more without an iPhone.

Regardless, the second-generation Apple Watch is likely to be accompanied by the launch of bands in new colors and designs as Apple has set a precedent of changing the available bands multiple times per year.

2- 4-inch iPhone 6c:

Those who love smaller devices will be excited to hear a 4-inch iPhone 6c may be coming early in 2016,

The “iPhone 6c” is rumored to be launching during the first months of 2016, and it’s another device that could potentially make an appearance at Apple’s rumored March event. If the 4-inch iPhone launches in early 2016, it will be the first iPhone to launch outside of the fall months since 2011.

There have been rumors that Apple is working on an upgraded 4-inch iPhone for customers who prefer smaller screens since the launch of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has pointed towards “two or three” color options for the device, but colors were not specified.

Apple’s 4-inch iPhone is described as a cross between an iPhone 5s and an iPhone 6, with an aluminum body and iPhone 6-style curved cover glass.

Other features rumored for the iPhone 6c include

  • a 1,642 mAh battery that’s somewhat larger than the battery used in the iPhone 5s,
  • an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with a ƒ/2.2 aperture,
  • a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera,
  • 11ac Wi-Fi, and
  • Bluetooth 4.1.

The iPhone 6c is not expected to include 3D Touch, as it is a flagship feature of the iPhone 6s, but it is likely to include NFC to enable Apple Pay functionality.

3- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:

Apple’s flagship products iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus which have a large number of fans also is expected to come at the tail end of 2016, likely making their debut in September in line with past iPhone launches. Apple is expected to continue offering the phones in 4.7 and 5.5-inch sizes, but we can count on a redesigned external chassis because 2016 marks a major upgrade year.

we can expect a thinner body, an improved processor, and a better camera. Flagship features like 3D Touch and Touch ID will continue to be available, and Apple likely has additional features planned to make its latest iPhone stand out.

Taking into account past rumors and acquisitions, the camera is one area that could see significant improvements, perhaps incorporating a dual-lens system that offers DSLR quality in a compact size. Some of these rumors were originally attached to the iPhone 6s, but could have been delayed for later devices especially given the 2015 acquisition of Israeli camera company LinX.

The current iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The iPhone 7 is rumored to be slimmer with no antenna bands and a new material composition.

Other rumors about the iPhone 7 have pointed towards the removal of the headphone jack in favor of headphones that attach to the device using the Lightning port, a change that may also help Apple shave 1mm off of the thickness of the iPhone. The rumors of a waterproof, dust-proof casing are from somewhat unreliable sources and should not be viewed as fact until further evidence becomes available.

4- iPad Air 3:

Recent rumors have suggested that Apple is developing an iPad Air 3 that will launch during the first half of 2016. Little is known about the third-generation iPad Air at this time, but it will include an upgraded processor to improve performance.

It may also offer RAM upgrades and camera improvements, but it will not include the 3D Touch feature introduced with the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus due to manufacturing difficulties expanding the technology to a larger screen size.

5- MacBook Air:

Current rumors suggest Apple will continue producing the MacBook Air, with plans to launch 13 and 15-inch MacBook Air models during the third quarter of 2016, perhaps unveiling the machines around the annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

The MacBook Air’s design has remained unchanged since 2010, so a 2016 redesign that focuses on a slimmer chassis with bigger screens and revamped internals is not out of the realm of possibility Current 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air compared to 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

If Apple does introduce a 2016 MacBook Air, it will likely include Intel’s next-generation Skylake chips, which will offer 10 percent faster CPU performance, 34 percent faster Intel HD graphics, and 1.4 hours of additional battery life compared to the equivalent Broadwell chips in current MacBook Air models. Skylake U-Series 15-watt chips appropriate for the MacBook Air will be shipping in early 2016.

6- Retina MacBook Pro:

Over the course of the past two years, Intel’s chip delays have significantly impacted Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro release plans, especially for the 15-inch model. Broadwell delays resulted in staggered update timelines for 13 and 15-inch models, which were last updated in March and May of 2015, respectively.

Broadwell chips appropriate for a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro update became available in June of 2015, so Apple could release an updated 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro in early 2016 using these chips. Alternatively, and more likely, Apple could bypass Broadwell altogether in favor of a Skylake update for both the 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

7- MacBook:

Skylake Core M chips appropriate for a second-generation Retina MacBook are already available, meaning refreshed Retina MacBook could be introduced at any moment. The new Core M chips offer 10 hours of battery life and 10 to 20 percent faster CPU performance compared to the Broadwell chips used in the first-generation machine.

The most notable upgrade in a second-generation Retina MacBook that uses Skylake chips would come in the form of graphics improvements as the Skylake Core M chips offer up to 40 percent faster graphics performance.

8- iMac (Late 2016):

Given that the iMac lineup was just refreshed in October of 2015, another update may not come until late in 2016.

Apple’s future chip plans for the iMac are difficult to decipher, as Intel does not plan to introduce desktop class socketed Skylake chips with integrated Iris or Iris Pro graphics that would be appropriate for lower-end iMacs that use integrated graphics instead of discrete graphics.

There are also no rumors on other features that could be included with a next-generation iMac update, but going forward, Apple may fully drop non-Retina 21.5-inch models as hardware prices come down in favor of an all-Retina lineup.

9- Software Updates:

iOS 10 (Late 2016):
Each September, Apple launches an updated version of iOS to accompany its latest iPhones. In 2016, the company is expected to debut iOS 10, the successor to iOS 9. iOS 8 and iOS 9 both focused more on features than design, so it is quite a possible iOS 10 will be an update that introduces more significant design changes, similar to iOS 7.

OS X 10.12 (Late 2016):
Along with iOS, OS X is also updated on a yearly basis, with an update coming each fall around September or October. In 2016, we expect to see the debut of OS X 10.12, the follow-up to OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

watchOS 3 (Early 2016):
watchOS is the software that runs on the Apple Watch, and in 2016, Apple is expected to launch a third version of the software. watchOS debuted alongside the Apple Watch in April, while watchOS 2 came out just months later in September with iOS 9.

tvOS 10?
Apple TV software traditionally has not seen the same major software updates as iOS devices and the Apple Watch, so Apple’s plans for tvOS are not clear.

10- Other Possibilities

Fifth-generation Apple TV:
Shortly after the launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV, there was a sketchy rumor suggesting development and production had already begun on a fifth-generation Apple TV with an upgraded CPU.

iPad Pro 2:
The iPad Pro was released in November of 2015 and Apple’s plans for a second-generation device are not yet known. For several years, Apple was updating its iPads on a yearly basis, but its more recent update timelines suggest it is potentially moving to an 18 month or 24-month upgrade cycle for iPads, making it unclear when we might see an iPad Pro 2.

iPad mini 5:
Apple introduced the iPad mini 4 in late 2015, following the launch of the iPad mini 2 in 2013 and the minor iPad mini 3 update in 2014. With Apple seemingly shifting away from a yearly upgrade cycle for its iPad lineup, we may not see an iPad mini 5 in 2016.

Instead, 2016 may see the launch of an updated iPad Air 3, followed by an iPad mini update in 2017. Apple’s iPad sales have been flagging in recent years as customers do not update their tablets as often as their phones, which has led Apple to try different upgrade strategies and cycles. With Apple’s shifting plans, it is not yet clear when the iPad mini will see another update.

Mac Pro:
The Mac Pro launched in late 2013, and since then, it has not seen an update. It’s quite possible 2016 will be the year Apple will refresh the machine, as potential references to an updated Mac Pro, were discovered in OS X El Capitan.

Grantley Xeon E5 V3 Haswell-EP processors appropriate for a high-end Mac Pro upgrade were introduced in 2014, but Apple may be waiting on E5 V4 Broadwell-EP chips for the top-of-the-line Mac Pro that are set to launch in the first half of 2016. E3 V4 chips appropriate for lower-end machines are already available, as are Skylake E3 V5 chips.

If this is the case, a Mac Pro launch will happen after the chips become available, with the machine perhaps seeing a mid-to-late 2016 debut.

Mac mini:
The Mac mini was last updated in 2014, introducing Haswell processors and features like 802.11ac WiFi and Thunderbolt 2. Given that it’s now been two years since the update, Apple could introduce new Mac mini models with Skylake processors in 2016. Two years are the longest the Mac mini has gone without a refresh.

What are you excepting from Apple this year? let us know in the comments below.