Apple had a somewhat strong year in 2013. The company showed off the iPad Air, unveiled a new iPad mini with a Retina display, and its upcoming Mac Pro might just be the most impressive desktop the company has ever launched. And as its revenue showed during the period, customers seemed to like what the company had to offer.
But I have a bit of a different take on the last year. While Apple had a broad launch lineup in 2013, nothing beyond the Mac Pro was truly “groundbreaking.” And by the look of things, that was intentional. That’s right – 2013 is designed to be the precursor for what promises to be a major 2014.
Let’s start with the Mac Pro. Although the device is launching later this month, 2014 will be the year in which it truly shows its value. Apple will push it hard and the power users will line up in droves to get their hands on the computer. The device, in other words, will be a huge hit in 2014.
The iPhone 5s also seems to portend to a major update in 2014. As history has proven, Apple has launched major upgrades to the iPhones every other year. Since this year was the time when Apple launched its iterative update, we can expect a nicely improved iPhone in 2014. Will the iPhone 6 be a groundbreaking achievement in an otherwise crowded mobile space? One can hope.
Which, of course, brings us to the iPad. If Apple has decided to go with the "iPad Air" naming convention this year, doesn’t that hint that the iPad Pro is just around the corner? After all, Apple has distinguished the MacBook Air as a lightweight alternative to the MacBook Pro, which should hint to us that something bigger and better will be coming to the company’s tablet lineup next year.
[aquote]Apple's dearest fans say 2013 was a hallmark year. It wasn't[/aquote]
Aside from that, I think the big improvements to Apple’s product line in 2014 might have everything to do with the living room. It’s entirely possible that Apple will launch an updated Apple TV, complete with the latest and greatest entertainment features, including some form of access to television programming. And if that happens, just how outlandish would it be to finally expect to see the long-rumored television make an appearance?
For years, we’ve been hearing rumors around Cupertino that 2014 would be a huge year for the company’s television efforts. We’ve also been told by the rumor mill that entertainment is getting a major boost in 2014. Is it possible that 2014 will be the year that Apple finally takes the living room by storm?
Although Apple’s dearest fans would say that 2013 was a hallmark year for the company, the truth is that it wasn’t. Instead, 2013 was a year it could use to prep whatever big items it has planned for 2014.
At least, that’s what I think we can expect. If Apple turns around and delivers another year of iterative upgrades, I’ll need to question just how dedicated the company is to delivering the special experiences it once did.