Apple is one of the biggest names in the smartphone industry. However, the Cupertino firm has been showing the world that it’s not just about iPhones and iPads. In reality, Apple is expanding its presence in other sectors to drive its profit. Apple had a hard time in 2018 as it saw a drop in iPhone sales or dealt with a possible iPhone ban in China after reports of patent infringement. 2019 is finally here and it is time for Apple to start considering its strategies for the new year.
As we enter the first days of 2019, we need to look back at the best products Apple released in 2018. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best Apple products that saw the light of day in 2018. Some of the products were widely welcomed upon release, while others failed to live up to expectations.
At 2018 WWDC event, Apple finally unveiled the HomePod, the company’s first ever smart speaker after months of anticipation. The release of the HomePod marked Apple’s steps into the smart speaker market where Amazon now dominates. In reality, the HomePod received mostly positive reviews at launch, with praise directed at its appealing look.
Like any smart speaker out there, the HomePod lets users control music playback using its personal assistant. The HomePod now supports multi-room audio, allowing you to stream the same tunes to multiple HomePod speakers at the same time. This means that you can control your music playback without leaving your room. However, the HomePod has been criticized for a lack of innovative features when compared to Amazon Echo and Google Home. Indeed, one major drawback is that the HomePod only works with HomeKit-enabled devices out there. Besides, the HomePod is now available in select markets including Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the UK, and the US.
Sources say that Apple will bring its smart speaker to more markets in 2019. Some reports suggest that the HomePod will hit a number of Asian markets like Japan or South Korea in Q1/2019. We have heard a lot of speculation that Apple might announce a cheaper HomePod in 2019 to target emerging markets like India and Brazil.
9.7 inch iPad
Apple’s iPad lineup has been showing signs of a slowdown in recent years. In reality, the iPad series is falling behind Android-based tablets on the market. In March 2018, Apple announced a new 9.7 inch iPad at its education event after months of leaks. The release of the 9.7 inch iPad put an end to the Air 2, which made its debut in 2014.
One of the biggest changes coming to the 9.7 inch iPad lies in Apple Pencil support. In reality, the Apple Pencil is a digital stylus pen that was once exclusive to the iPad Pro lineup. With Apple Pencil support, users now can take notes or improve their creative work. The iPad retains the same design language, featuring rounded edges and a 9.7-inch display. Under the hood, the tablet is powered by the powerful A10 chip, allowing for a much-improved performance when compared to its predecessors.
MacBook Pro and MacBook Air
The MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops you can buy right now on the market. In July 2018, Apple announced a refresh to its Pro lineup with 8th-generation Intel Core processors and better Touch Bar. The new chip allows for up to 70 percent faster performance when compared to its previous models. Besides, the 2018 MacBook Pro comes with a True Tone display and third-generation keyboard for better typing. The new laptop also includes the powerful Radeon Pro graphics, dynamic stereo speakers and a new cooling system. Despite those improvements, the new MacBook Pro failed to live up to expectations as it saw slow sales on the market.
At the October event, Apple finally unveiled the new MacBook Air following months of endless rumors and speculation. The new Air retains the best elements of its predecessors while adding tons of new things to the series. Specifically, the laptop is thin, lightweight, so you can take it anywhere. Besides, the new MacBook Air now features Apple’s latest-gen butterfly keyboard and USB-C ports.
When it comes to pricing, the new MacBook Air starts at $1,119 for the model with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and 128GB of SSD storage. Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro costs $2,399 for the starting model. For that price, you will get an 8th generation 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, Radeon Pro 555X graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD storage inside.
Apple Watch Series 4
Apple now dominates the smartwatch market with more than 60 percent share. At its September event, the Cupertino firm announced the 4th generation Apple Watch with a slew of improvements and exciting changes. One such change lies in a bigger screen. Indeed, the screen is 30 percent bigger, allowing you to see more in your favorite apps. The Digital Crown has been re-engineered, so it now includes haptic feedback. The back of the Watch now features ceramic material to allow for a better phone call and radio signal.
One of the biggest features coming to the Watch is the ability to take an electrocardiogram (ECG). This means that you now can get a detailed picture of your heart directly on your wrist. Besides, the Watch series 4 can detect a fall. Indeed, when a fall occurs, your watch sends out an alert. From that alert, you can call emergency services.
Apple iPhone is one of the most desired smartphones on the market. This year, Apple welcomed three new iPhones with a lot of changes and new features. Indeed, the iPhone XS Max comes with a 6.5-inch display, making it the biggest iPhone ever released to the public. Meanwhile, the iPhone XR sports a 6.1-inch display with a lower resolution and pixel density.
Under the hood, all three iPhones use the Apple A12 Bionic chip, allowing for a huge performance boost. Besides, they feature Face ID and smart HDR camera support. However, the iPhone XR sticks with a single camera setup and lacks the pressure sensitive 3D Touch technology.
These are Apple’s biggest releases in 2018. If you own one of those products, then make sure you let us know in the comments below.