Apple’s 2014 has been another year of successes.
Multi–billion pound profits, massive iPhone sales and, with the Apple Watch, a first new product category in four years.
But the company’s intransigence and frustrating failure to admit its faults has seen it not bother apologising for the woeful rollout of iOS 8 and help ease one of its partners, GT Advanced, into bankruptcy.
Here are the changes we’d like to see Apple make over the next year.
1 Get iOS 8 up to speed
iOS 8’s issues have been well–documented. Dropped Bluetooth connections, a lack of Wi–Fi, in some cases ‘blue screens of death’.
Apple users are a vocal community, which makes it even more annoying that aside from pulling iOS 8.0.1, Apple has done nothing to acknowledge any errors.
The native Health app remains broken for some, while iOS 8.1 is riddled with annoying bugs that are discussed at length on official forums.
New updates need to address these issues and bring U.S. only features like Apple Pay to a global user base.
iOS 8 should have worked properly from the off, so a fix must come sooner rather than later.
2 Make Beats Music a priority
The longer Apple leaves it to make a play in the streaming music space, the more ground it’s going to have to make up on already popular rivals.
Word is it’s going to make Beats, or a rebranded iTunes alternative, a native feature on new iPhones.
If it wants to turn attention away from the fact that music sales via iTunes slipped by almost 14% in 2014, it’ll need to make this happen soon.
Beats needs to be better than Spotify, otherwise there’s no point in users switching. Apple has delayed long enough.
3 Keep a smaller iPhone on its roster
Less a change than a plea to keep some things the same.
uSwitch sales figures showed the iPhone 5c outselling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in November, proving demand for cheaper, smaller versions of Apple’s handset is still high.
When it comes to refreshing its lineup next autumn, Apple will do well to either keep the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c on sale. Not everyone wants a big screen phone.
4 Reverse iPad decline
This has to be one of Apple’s main priorities in 2015.
The slump in iPad sales is more than the ‘speed bump’ Tim Cook claims it to be, users unwilling to buy a new tablet every two years like a smartphone.
Apple can do this in a number of ways. Push its budget iPad mini harder; launch a new–look top–end iPad mini that has a refreshed design; and finally bring its much–hyped iPad Pro to market.
The latter is looking increasingly vital to reviving the iPad’s prospects in the next twelve months.
5 Settle its Samsung lawsuits for good
Apple and Samsung finally settled all of their lawsuits outside the United States this year.
But the two need to get those last patent battles consigned to history, and it’s down to Apple to make it happen.
The companies’ two CEOs have talked about a deal and by now it’s clear that Apple has won the fight.
Even jurors in their latest trial said that the fight wasn’t helping consumer perceptions of the two giants and Apple’s relatively small financial gain ($120 million) after their tussle in May shows it’s time to reach a deal.
Samsung has been beaten and it’s time for Apple to look to the future.