2017 predictions: What's next for Apple?

So here are the ground rules. Each prediction or comment going forward will have a likelihood associated with it in the form of L=x with a 1-10 rating. You see it from the big firms. Now you can see it here for free.

  1. Impossible. Creating matter from nothing.
  2. Improbable but not impossible. Elon Musk landing on Mars.
  3. Six to five and pick 'em. Even odds. But really, if I ever use this I'm just being a wimp.
  4. Same as 5, but makes me look like less of a wimp.
  5. Likely but not a sure thing.
  6. Certainty. The sun will rise tomorrow.

All of these predictions have been arrived at by using a standard analyst modeling tool called DRE. if you want to know what that means, listen to the Apple Talk podcast. Also, no insider knowledge or little birdies for any of these. It's also based on rumors and gossip that have circulated over the internet for the last little while.

  • As it has with marketing and engineering, Apple will begin to showcase other designers by name to start de-emphasizing Jony Ive. 8.
  • Apple Watch sales level off. Upgrades become driven by software as first gen devices don't support the next version of watchOS. New form factors likely with support for old bands eventually abandoned. 7.
  • iPad sales grow as Apple marketing finally tells a coherent story differentiating pro iOS and mainstream iOS. 8. (Phil, I think I've finally nailed this!)
  • iPhone sales grow a lot (I'll keep that model somewhat private for now). 10th anniversary celebrated with new designs, colors, and materials. Yep, celebrated. This is an Apple that looks forward and, back. 9. (Yeah.)
  • New Mac Pro arrives to address the needs of the high end customers. Current design is the new "Cube". Celebrated for design, then turned into a tissue holder and Mac Pro becomes practical again. 9. (Yeah, again!)
  • Pixel becomes the new standard for Android. Expect a strong retail push. Possibly, Google stores or kiosks. 8.
  • Samsung Galaxy sales decline despite a hard push for Galaxy 8. Galaxy Note lives, brand kept intact. (Note brand sounds crazy but you really have to know Samsung to understand why. 7. (Call me.)
  • Microsoft and Apple begin an ecosystem battle. Microsoft makes just-as-good but differently targeted devices. Microsoft continues to push at perceived weaknesses in Apple. The market gets to decide which is telling the most compelling story. 8
  • Rogue One goes down as the second best Star Wars movie, just behind Empire. 9.

The best part of this style of predictions is the probability scores. That way I can go all in on the claim chowder. At least for the most part.

Ok. Now it's your turn. Give me your top tech predictions for 2017!

Michael Gartenberg

I’ve covered the personal technology beat for more than two decades at places like Gartner, Jupiter Research and Altimeter Group. I’ve also had the fun of contributing my $.02 on the topic at Computerworld, Engadget, Macworld, SlashGear and now iMore. Most recently I spent a few years at Apple as Sr. Director of Worldwide Product Marketing. On Twitter I’m an unverified @gartenberg. I still own some Apple stock.