Researchers and rumour-mongers have been trawling their contacts, trying to piece together Apple's roadmap for 2019. And while the Cupertino tech and media powerhouse has been pretty quiet when it comes to radically new products, it seems that 2019 will be a big year with several new products and substantial upgrades. Here's what we can expect.
Apple's product family can be divided into five groups; macOS devices, iOS devices, Apple TV, Apple Watch and accessories.
At Least Two New Macs
A research note obtained by MacRumors points to a new MacBook Pro with a larger display. It's been seven years since Apple dropped the 17-inch MacBook Pro from its line-up so news of a 16-inch, or possible 16.5-inch, MacBook Pro will excite those craving a larger, portable (luggable?) Mac. .
This will be an interesting machine. While desktop computers remain an important market segment for all PC makers, portable computers are entrenched as the go-to option for many buyers who want a powerful computer that doesn't have to be permanently set up.
Apple's been promising a new Mac Pro for some time and this is the year we'll get it. Every core component will be upgradeable and it promises to be a powerful beast, if the most recent update to the Mac mini is anything to go by.
A Buttload Of New iPads, an iPod touch... And iPhones
The easiest prediction to make is that Apple will release new iPhones around October this year. That research note I mentioned earlier suggests the current form factor will be retained although a three-camera array is on the cards as is the potential for a frosted glass back a la the Google Pixel 3.
Bilateral charging, so you can use the iPhone to charge other devices is likely and we may also see an ultra-wideband radio for indoor navigation.
As for USB-C charging and connectivity - the jury is still out. It seems strange that Apple would add USB-C to the latest iPad Pro but not extend that to the rest of their iOS device family but that's what leakers are saying.
A programmer, looking though the innards of iOS 12.2, found references to four new iOS devices. That suggests we'll be seeing an update to the iPod touch, iPad mini and regular iPad.
In theory, iOS 12.2 references four new iPads in WiFi & Cellular variants (perhaps mini, and 9.7"?), all without Face ID, and a (seventh-gen?) iPod touch with no Touch ID nor Face ID pic.twitter.com/xiJN6kmmTe
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) January 25, 2019
Apple registered seven new iPads with the Eurasian Economic Commission last week so that iOS 12.2 reference might just be what we see in the next few weeks.
Apple Watch Will Get A Tweak
Since the Apple Watch Series 2, which brought integrated GPS and water resistance, the only major addition, in terms of features was the introduction of cellular comms. But, otherwise, the Apple Watch has steadily evolved with the hardware incrementally changing.
The main updates to the Apple Watch have been on the software front as Apple has continually refined their approach to making things work on a small display.
Apple has played with the use of ceramics in the Apple Watch body and it's possible we'll see a return to the all-ceramic casings we saw with the Series 2.
ECG support should expand beyond the United States but getting the right approvals may take years in some cases.
All Quiet On The Apple TV Front
The Apple TV hardware isn't likely to get a lot of love this year. Apple's focus has been on developing its own streaming media service and creating bespoke content.
Accessories Will Get A Boost
Apple has a mixed record when it comes to creating peripherals for its hardware.
AirPods: Series 2 AirPods will come This year. It's possible we'll see them offered in black, as well as Apple's customary white finish, and wireless charging is a certainty.
Wireless charging means, assuming the leaks and rumours about the next iPhone supporting two-way charging, that you'll be able to use the new iPhone to charge your headphones.
Cinema Display Replacement: Apple dropped its LED cinema display a while ago. But Apple's head of marketing Phil Schiller has said that "As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well".
It's expected to support 8K, have an integrated GPU and measure at 31.5-inched from corner to corner.
AirPower: Apple may be hoping we've forgetter their promised delivery date for the AirPower charging mat but it seems 2019 might see this product arrive.
In case you've forgotten since it was announced almost two years ago, the AirPower mat will let you charge three wireless devices simultaneously. Like an Apple Watch (which doesn't use the Qi standard), an iPhone and, perhaps, those new AirPod headphones we're expecting.