Apple in 2015: The good, the bad, and the ugly

IDG.TV | Dec 16, 2015

The world's biggest tech company had an equally huge year, from major wins like the iPhone 6s and Apple TV to head-scratchers like the iPad Pro and a secret car.

Another year draws to a close, and Apple remains the most successful company in the history of humankind. So let’s recap all of Apple’s wins in 2015, and spend just a few moments on where Apple didn’t quite deliver as expected.

IPHONE OWNS THE WORLD

In 2015, Apple’s iPhone sales were staggering. In the last fiscal quarter of the year alone, the company sold 48 million iPhones for $32 billion dollars in revenue.

What the hell’s going on here? Doesn’t everyone already have a perfectly good iPhone? Well, this year a bunch of those iPhone sales can be attributed to China. In 2015, the Chinese market got its iPhone 6Ses on launch day.

REFRESH EVERYTHING

Apple may not have the most extensive product line, but in 2015 the folks in Cupertino made sure to revamp everything in a big and meaningful way.

We got new MacBooks, including the spectacular new 12-inch model. We got a brand new iPad in the audacious iPad Pro. There were new iMacs. There was a completely overhauled Apple TV. And, of course, the Apple Watch, a brand new hardware category.

Not all of the hardware is perfect, but damn if Apple didn’t go all in on product refreshes this year.

APPLE MUSIC’S ROUGH LAUNCH

Apple launched its streaming music service as a brand new app for iOS, but on desktops, Apple Music was lumped in with the rest of iTunes. And that wreaked havoc on some users’ iTunes libraries.

In the most minor cases, album artwork got screwed up. But in the much more serious cases, iTunes either wiped out or corrupted thousands of tracks. It was not an elegant way to start a new streaming music service.

And that doesn’t even count having to listen to the insipid DJ drivel on Beats One.

CAN I GET AN APPLE PENCIL?

When the iPad Pro went on sale in November, its Apple Pencil was on a 4 to 5 week back-order, and that’s just weird for an accessory that’s so essential to Apple’s productivity experience.

Without the Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro is basically just a really big iPad. That’s still a nice iPad, but the Pencil opens up a whole world of creative possibilities that would seem essential to the tablet’s target audience.

Shockingly, the Pencil is still showing a 4-5 week back order on Apple’s site. Does anyone at Apple care about selling this thing at all?

APPLE TV REBOOT

It took forever to arrive, but by the end of the year, we finally got a new Apple TV streaming box.

Three years in the making, the new Apple TV is one of our favorite products of the year. There’s a brand new touchpad remote with Siri integration, and the streaming box now has its own App Store as well.

Unfortunately there’s no integration of a live TV streaming service. But maybe that will come in 2016 -- and then we’ll be able to ditch cable and satellite boxes once and for all. That could be the biggest Apple innovation since the very first iPhone.