Apple’s 2023 lineup is seen as a temporary solution until more significant innovations arrive next year, along with USB-C integrations in more devices, as noted by tech analyst Mark Gurman in a Bloomberg report.
Upcoming USB-C Integrations in Apple Products
Gurman anticipates the next iMac to be accompanied by USB-C versions of the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard. He also predicts a 2024 update for the standard AirPods, featuring a USB-C charging case.
Furthermore, Gurman expects the succeeding AirPods Max to incorporate a USB-C port, although the release schedule for these over-ear headphones remains undisclosed. Lastly, he foresees the return of the MagSafe Battery Pack and MagSafe Duo Charger accessories, this time with USB-C ports.
Holiday Season Growth
Apple anticipates growth this holiday season, marking a potential rebound after four quarters of declining sales. The uptick is attributed less to groundbreaking products and more to a smoother supply chain and a favorable comparison with the previous year’s slow shopping season, according to Gurman.
Apple recently unveiled its iPhone 15 series, new watches, and updated AirPods Pro earbuds. Gurman believes that the shift to titanium in these products may boost sales this autumn, with strong demand already apparent in pre-orders. He suggests that this, coupled with an improved supply chain, could reverse Apple’s sales decline.
One notable factor contributing to Apple’s performance is its resilient supply chain. So far, there have been no signs of major manufacturing disruptions, providing Apple with stability, according to Gurman.
Even supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that wait times for the iPhone 15 Pro Max are significantly longer than for other models, due to high demand since it went into mass production, late sighting production challenges.
If Apple avoids supply disruptions and sales issues in China, it is poised to surpass the $117.2 billion revenue from the previous holiday season. Wall Street projects approximately $123.5 billion in revenue, marking a 5% increase.
Challenges in 2023
Apple faced challenges in 2023, including a declining smartphone market, inflation, and cautious consumer spending. Gurman had warned earlier in the year that it would be a lighter-than-usual product release year, with few notable additions. While some products like the 15-inch MacBook Air garnered attention, others like the Mac Pro received mixed reviews due to pricing.
Looking ahead, Gurman shares insights on Apple’s plans beyond 2023:
1. The Vision Pro: Although it may not contribute significantly to immediate revenue, this headset could attract consumers to Apple stores and enhance the company’s overall product ecosystem.
2. 10-Year Anniversary Apple Watch: A redesigned “Series X” Apple Watch with new health features, including a blood pressure monitor, is expected in 2024 or 2025. Apple is also working on an AI-powered health coaching service.
3. Tablet Upgrades: The iPad Pro is set for its first redesign in five years, featuring OLED displays and improved accessories, such as a revamped Magic Keyboard.
4. Processor Advancements: Apple’s transition to M3 chips on 3-nanometer technology will bring significant performance improvements to MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, and other Macs.
5. Larger iPhone Screens: Pro iPhones are slated to receive slightly larger displays in the next year, with screen upgrades driving hardware upgrades.
6. Artificial Intelligence: Apple plans to enter the generative AI race in 2024 with “Apple GPT” and its own large-language model, Ajax.
In his report, Mark Gurman stated,
Given that many of these advancements won’t be available for months or even longer, Apple’s primary task is to ensure that its interim products retain customer loyalty. Despite the relatively minor updates in 2023, it’s likely that the latest devices will accomplish this.