2017 was a weird year for Apple. Despite a fall in iPhone sales, the company actually posted its biggest quarterly profit of all time. With a $20.1 billion posting in the crucial final three months of the year, Apple broke its own profit record set two years ago.
This is interesting because although Apple sold fewer iPhones in the three-month period, the higher price of the new handsets, particularly the iPhone X, meant revenues from selling iPhones increased.
Will 2018 be any different? With all the new Apple products we're expecting to see this year, it looks promising and the company might break its own records yet again.
Here are all the exciting new Apple products we're expecting in 2018.
Three new iPhones
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, three new iPhones are on tap for 2018, including two of Apple's biggest smartphones ever.
Apple is reportedly working on a 6.5-inch iPhone with an OLED display. This suggests that this upcoming model will act as an "iPhone X Plus" and it will join the next generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X next year.
More notably, Kuo indicated that Apple will also unveil a third iPhone sporting a 6.1-inch LCD display and a lower price point than the OLED models.
This cheaper model will still have the current iPhone X's features such as Face ID, advanced sensors, and edge-to-edge display but it will "differ significantly" from the OLED iPhones. For one, it will use a lower resolution LCD panel instead. These concessions will allow Apple to keep this model within the $650 to $750 price range.
Although the iPhone X's OLED display is the most glorious iPhone screen ever, the LCD model will be welcome news to people who are not willing to shell out the significant difference just to get the OLED display.
Kuo believes that all three models will likewise ditch the traditional home button and use Face ID and screen gestures like the current iPhone X.
A cheaper iPad
Credible reports stated that Apple is planning on releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad next year. This entry-level iPad will reportedly start at the sweet price point of $259, even cheaper than this year's $329 base iPad.
This is certainly great news for people who are still holding out for an iPad due to its price. With the onslaught of cheaper tablets like Amazon's Fire line, a lower iPad price point will certainly help Apple compete in the lower-end market.
New iPad Pro with Face ID
Will Apple follow the iPhone X design trend and go with significantly thinner bezels on the next iPad Pro? The edge-to-edge design is touted as the future of iOS gadgets so it won't be a surprise if it makes it to iPad line.
Would a bezel-less iPad be better? Not necessarily. Unlike smartphones, bezels have more practical use in tablets because they can act as grip areas, making them easier to hold. The best compromise then would be slimmer bezels and not a completely edge-to-edge screen.
Another iPhone X design that will likely make it to the next iPad Pro is the absence of the physical Home button. Without the Home button nor Touch ID, Apple will likely introduce Face ID to the next iPad Pro. But will Face ID work seamlessly with an iPad? Tablets are used regularly in both portrait and landscape modes so an iPhone X style portrait-mode only Face ID will be clunky.
Will the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X's A11 Bionic chip make it to the next iPad Pro? Why, yes, of course. We may even get the A11X Bionic chip on the iPad Pro, rumored to have an upgraded image processor and GPU for even better graphics performance compared to the current iPhones.
Reports also indicate that we shouldn't expect an OLED screen on the next 10.5-inch iPad Pro due to technical and financial limitations. This means it will retain an LCD screen but will also keep its 120Hz frame rate advantage. (There are no 120Hz OLED panels yet.)
Their release dates for these rumored new iPads have not been revealed yet but we're expecting them to be announced around the second quarter of 2018 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Stay tuned!
Apple Watch with new health sensors
We keep hearing about Apple's work with advanced health monitoring sensors. And 2018 might be the year we're finally going to see them on the Apple Watch.
The company is really serious about incorporating new medical innovations on the Apple Watch. Sensors that can measure a person's vitals like blood glucose and heart rate can dramatically change how people use wearables.
Are we going to see the rumored advanced EKG heart monitor and a non-invasive blood sugar sensor on the next Apple Watch? We certainly hope so. These features will truly be groundbreaking, making the Apple Watch a must-have accessory for diabetics and people with heart issues.
Wireless charger for all your Apple gadgets
Another Apple product we're excited about is the AirPower, a charging mat that can wirelessly juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously.
Although Apple announced the AirPower together with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X last year, there's no pricing nor release date yet. We're still expecting it to drop within 2018.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also hinted that an upgraded version of the AirPods will be released in the second half of 2018.
There aren't any substantial details about the upgrades but Kuo wrote that the second-gen AirPods will include a "smaller quartz component" and they will be compatible with a new AirPower charging mat. We're also hoping that Apple would've have solved its AirPod production problems by that time.
Apple HomePod is finally here
Apple's answer to the Amazon Echos and Google Homes of the world is finally here. After months of delays, the HomePod was released on February 9, 2018.
Early reviews suggest that the HomePod's sound quality is definitely better than the other smart speakers out there but Siri still can't match Alexa nor Google's smart assistant. It's also limited to Apple's walled garden right now, supporting only Apple Music at launch. Oh, and did I mention it's $349?
MacBook Pro line refresh
The major MacBook Pro line refresh of 2016 was a welcome change. It introduced an OLED TouchBar, a Touch ID sensor and Thunderbolt 3.
With the introduction of the powerful but super expensive iMac Pro line, we could see similar changes to the MacBook Pro line. Although we might not see a major redesign this year, we should see major processor and memory upgrades.
High-end Mac Pro
Another Apple product that's due for an update is the Mac Pro line. Apple said last year that it is working on an expandable and modular Mac Pro. With the non-upgradeable iMac Pro in the mix, professionals will definitely appreciate the return of a user customizable Apple desktop.
There are no details about the next Mac Pro yet but we're expecting it to be announced at WWDC in June.
As usual, we will definitely see updates to iOS this year. Although Apple said that they are delaying certain features of iOS 12 to focus on strengthening reliability and performance, we still expect the company to announce and release it in September with improvements to its digital health, parental controls and augmented reality features.
The delayed features are expected to be released sometime in 2019. They will include a complete refresh of the home screen, an upgraded CarPlay experience, enhancements to photo editing and sharing, and a redesign of its Mail application.
Apple's desktop and laptop operating system, macOS, follows the same release cycle as iOS so expect a new upgrade this year. Details are still scarce about macOS 10.14 but we're hoping that it will bring more usable features than under-the-hood updates.
In related news, iOS 11.3 will introduce new Battery Health settings
When Apple admitted that they throttled iPhones with failing batteries to protect them from sudden shutdowns, many people said that it’s proof that Apple has a roadmap for its older products. But as promised, the company is also making improvements to future versions of iOS to make this process more transparent. Click here to read more about the latest feature in iOS 11.3.