2017 was a busy year for Apple, with the launch of the 10th-anniversary iPhone X and new iPhone 8, new iPads and a slew of new Macs.
But 2018 got off to a flying start with the launch of the HomePod – what else does this year have up its sleeves for Apple fans? Well, here at Macworld we’ve donned our prognostication hats, investigated every rumour and trend we could find, all to bring you our predictions for 2018.
Let’s start with Apple’s biggest money-maker: its smartphones.
iPhone SE 2
Many had anticipated that Apple would upgrade the iPhone SE model to the iPhone SE2 or SEs in March 2017, replacing the existing (and rather popular) SE that was introduced in March 2016. However the iPhone SE was only treated to a bump in storage to 32- and 128GB on 21 March 2017.
We do still expect a new iPhone SE model at some point in the future. When the new model launches it is likely to keep the existing, classic design, but feature upgraded internals such as the A10 chip found in the iPhone 7 and a more powerful camera.
Read more here: iPhone SE 2 preview
When? We think spring 2018
To be honest we’ve got no idea what the follow-up to the iPhone X is going to be called, but this guess is as good as any. (Many feel that Apple is about to finally give up on version numbers for its phones, and just call the next model the iPhone.)
Theories about the iPhones coming in autumn 2018 are already many and various, but perhaps the most popular is the idea that Apple will take the iPhone X and its relatively small chassis, and supersize it – producing what could perhaps be called an iPhone X Plus. We’re not convinced this would be wise (the X already has the biggest screen Apple has ever put on a phone), but the market usually gets what the market wants.
We’d also love it if Touch ID could make a comeback in addition to Face ID. This would be possible if Apple can incorporate a fingerprint scanner under the glass, something which was too technologically challenging in 2017 but may be feasible now.
After the tremors of 2017, however, Apple may well consolidate in 2018, offering incremental upgrades and perhaps spreading existing features to more models – giving the 4.7in model a twin-lens camera, say.
When? Sept 2018
The iPad mini received a minor update in March 2017, gaining more capacity for the same price (£419 for the 128GB Wi-Fi model and £549 for the 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular). However, this was not the iPad mini 5 anticipated, and given that the iPad mini 4 was last updated in September 2015, it’s clear that Apple isn’t too focused on its smaller tablets and Apple does state that the most popular tablet size is 9.7in.
Perhaps spring 2018 will see the introduction of an iPad Mini Pro with upgraded components, a new thinner, tougher aluminium chassis, and the inclusion of a Smart Connector to match that of the other iPad Pro devices.