Why Apple will have Another Banner Year in 2015

When Apple releases their earnings for the 2014 holiday season in mid-January 2015, I expect them to have record sales of iPhones and Macs. The street predicts Apple will sell between 63-65 million iPhones but I think it could be higher given the strong interest in the 5c in China and older iPhones still in the pipeline. I suspect even their tablet business was robust over the holiday.

In 2015, I believe demand for the iPhone 6 will continue to be strong and have record numbers as each quarter, especially in the US, people will be coming out of current carrier contracts and upgrading their phones throughout the year. By next fall, Apple will have new models that will help keep that cycle moving forward.

Last quarter, Apple sold one million more Macs then they did in the previous year’s quarter. New iMacs and a new Macbook Air (out in 2015 — thinner, lighter and sport Intel’s newest chip) will continue to drive strong Mac sales. We also believe Apple will introduce a 12.9“ tablet aimed at business and this too could help enhance their tablet sales in 2015. BTW, this could be a game changer for the Apple crowd. While Apple will not back the 2 in 1 concept a la Microsoft Surface, a larger screen iPad with a 3rd party keyboard could make it a productivity workhorse while also finding its way into the home as a great portable TV and movie player.

Then there is the Apple Watch. I and many others are still skeptical about whether a market for smartwatches even exists. If there is one, Apple will be the company to make it happen. Apple has an important edge over possible competitors. They own the hardware and design, software SDK, application store and a powerful distribution network with their stores. While I don’t know what the killer app for a smartwatch is, Apple has empowered the software community to create apps for their new watch platform and I never underestimate the genius and innovation that could come from that community. I predict Apple will have at least 5,000 apps for the Apple Watch when it launches and we should see many killer apps that appeal to a very broad audience.

On a related note, I have the privilege of moderating a CES Supersession on smartwatches on Wednesday, January 7th at the Venetian Hotel, Level 1, Casanova 605. If you are at CES and interested in smartwatches, I encourage you to come by. I have execs from Samsung, Motorola, Intel’s Basis division and Yahoo on this panel to discuss if there is a market for smartwatches. The actual title of the session is “The Market for Smart Watches”. Super Sessions are open to anyone who attends the show.

Then there is Apple TV. I believe 2015 will be the year Apple lays their cards out on their new Apple TV strategy. I personally don’t think they will do an actual TV but they could dramatically redesign their current Apple TV hardware as well as give us a new type of UI and way to access and interact with TV and streaming media. This too should be a game changer given what Steve Jobs told his biographer.

There is also a possible wild card in the works. Tim Cook has stated publicly they are working on things nobody has even talked about in the media. Maybe 2015 will be the year we see something in a completely new category that could also impact their bottom line.

While Apple had a great 2014, I will not be surprised if they have an equal or even better 2015.

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Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

2 thoughts on “Why Apple will have Another Banner Year in 2015”

  1. I think the success for Apple Watch will, in large part, be based on what diagnostics and monitoring the sensors are able to do. As with the iPhone, until developers and users experience the Watch over time we will see use cases we cannot predict now.

  2. I believe many people’s negative reaction to the Apple Watch being completely reliant on the iPhone is misunderstood. The Apple Watch exists to sell more iPhones. Plain and simple. No doubt it’ll one day be a singular product that can stand and operate fully on its own but for now Apple’s plan is to get more people to buy iPhones and the Apple Watch is the perfect companion to that strategy.

    However, I respectfully disagree that Apple’s strategy for TV will be revealed this year. I think they’ll use 2015 to focus on the Apple Watch and whatever they have planned for the MacBook Air and updated iPad with the holiday shopping season centered around the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6s, and Christmas-themed Apple Watch bands.

    My crystal ball says late 2016 for TV. Early 2016 will give us an updated Apple Watch, mid-2016 the iPhone 7 and late 2016 we’ll see their TV strategy along with requisite updates in memory, performance and software tweaks to iMac, MacBooks and OS X. With Apple Watches in the wild the ‘killer app’ could be a remote that works via the Apple Watch.

    Maybe that’s what Steve was referring to when he say he “cracked” the TV interface. Maybe it was a wearable that’s just more accessible and won’t get lost between the couch cushions ’cause you’re always wearing it.

    Let’s not forget that Apple bought the company that made the original Xbox Kinect. Can’t imagine that acquisition will go to waste.

    Another bold prediction: I think whatever Apple has planned for streaming music with Beats will likely be tied-in with their TV strategy. Have to believe that whatever content deals Apple has already worked out with content providers on iTunes will carry over into streaming some or all of that content including music.

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