Apple predictions for 2016 & 2017: Apple Pay
Alongside these headline developments, there will be a whole series of speedbumps along the way as Apple extends and refines its Apple Pay offering. We anticipate that Apple Pay will be accepted in a wider range of headline stores.
Apple predictions for 2016 & 2017: Apple Music
Apple Music - which is now available on Android - will inevitably expand.
With 15 million subscribers in 2016 but is it good enough to continue this momentum? Can it really compete with the likes of Spotify. As for Beats 1, we're not convinced this is making the impact Apple hoped for, but the we probably aren't the target market for it. We'd like to see more radio channels tuned to less trendy music choices.
There are also rumours that streaming on Apple Music could be enhanced, with high-resolution better quality audio for that service - up to 96kHz/24-bit, according to areport on Macotakara. Since the 3.5mm headphone jack is limited to CD quality sound this appears to back up the rumour that Apple will be ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack from its new iPhone, the rumour is that the Lighting port will take on this role, the alternative is sending the music via a wireless connection or Bluetooth, but we don't think this would suffice. Incidentally, Apple released a Lightning connector audio specification in 2014.
Apple Music may also prove to be the one thing that keeps the iPod on the shelves in 2016. If you'd asked us what we thought of its chances at the close of 2014, we'd have said 'slim', but 2015 saw Apple deliver the first proper update to the iPod touch in three years, and it's now providing another entry ramp for the firm's £9.99 a month music subscription service. That alone means it makes sense to give it at least 12 months to prove itself. The same can't necessarily be said of the nano and shuffle, which are each available in just one configuration and, without streaming abilities, offer no ongoing revenue source.
Apple Music saw a major redesign at WWDC 2016. We discuss the changes in this video:
Apple predictions for 2016 & 2017: Mergers & acquisitions
From time to time these suggestion-cum-predictions come true, as with Apple's acqusition of Beats in 2014, but it hardly needs stating that the company isn't in a hurry to divest itself of that cash cushion. Any merger & acqusition activity is likely to be comparatively conservative: rather than going for the big names that crop up in prediction articles like this one, Apple is far more likely to pick up smallish but promising firms on the way up and take their products in house - just as it did with Siri.
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