This is it: the last installment of Stay Foolish for the year
that was 2021. And I think I speak for all of us when I say good
Having already covered the biggest Apple moves of 2021
it's time now to look forward to the year that awaits us, full of
untrammeled possibility and simmering excitement. The last 12
months have been an eventful one for Apple, but we're already
starting to see the shape of the year to come.
With that in mind, here are a few of the biggest things I expect
(and hope) to see out of Cupertino in 2022.
The end of a transition, and the beginning of the future
My colleague Jason Snell has already detailed the next steps of the Apple silicon
transition for the Macs. There are several Macs still waiting
to make the jump from Intel, and if Apple delivers on its two-year
transition promise, then the end of this year will see something
unprecedented in the company's history, with every single product
made by the company built atop its very own silicon.
The MacBook Pro made a splash in 2021, and 2022 could bring more
Apple silicon goodies.
That's, simply put, astounding, and a feat that really can't be
matched by any other technology company out there right now. That
close integration will also continue to open up doors for Apple in
terms of how it develops software for its platforms, allowing more
interplay and feature parity across its device lineup.
As for the end of the Mac transition, expect to see a redesigned
high-end 27-inch iMac in spring, possibly alongside a high-end Mac
mini. The top of Apple's line-up, the Mac Pro, is widely thought to
be the last Mac that will make the jump, and thus probably won't
appear until the second half of the year. But 2022 will also see
the first second-generation Apple silicon Macs, with the MacBook
Air probably leading the charge and getting a more thorough
redesign than its predecessor. It remains an exciting time to be a
Mac user, which is a heck of a thing to say for a product that's
rapidly approaching its 40th birthday.
It's been a while since Apple last entered a new major product
category, the last example being the ultimately underwhelming
HomePod, which shipped in 2018. But that may change in 2022, as
rumors of the company's mixed reality headset have intensified greatly
over the last few months.
If the device does in fact show up this year, we can make
educated guesses about a few aspects of it. The first model to
appear is likely to be pricey and will focus on virtual and
augmented reality, resembling existing headsets from the likes of
Oculus and HTC. June's Worldwide Developers Conference seems a good
bet for its announcement, though it may mainly be targeted at
developers firstâ€”and with good reason since there are big questions
about the software side. What will make this compelling for the
average consumer that Apple targets? The company's supposedly
targeting communication, media consumption, and games, but at least
two of those will require some substantial buy-in from third
This headset may be Apple's entry into the metaverse that other
big tech companies are forging into, but if so, it's probably going
to be a very Apple-like foray, including a harder stance on privacy
than its competitors and sleek industrial design, though perhaps a
bit less featureful than some of its competitors. That said, if
there's a chance that VR/AR is finally going to go mainstream, it's
not wise to bet against Apple as the one to do it.
As we near two years of being largely stuck in our houses during
a pandemic, I'm holding out hope that Apple will take another crack
at the home.
The HomePod may have been a flop, but its successor, the HomePod mini, seems to be doing much better. The
Apple TV hasn't seen a substantial update since 2015's
fourth-generation model, so maybe it's time for Apple to think
outside the literal box. Finding some way to combine the
capabilities of the HomePod mini and the Apple TV seems like a good
start, especially if it also includes some sort of Center
Stage-powered video chat system for FaceTime and SharePlay.
Apple's home push might go beyond the HomePod in 2022.
Likewise, as the Matter initiative for smart home
interoperability starts to actually take off in 2022, it's time for
Apple to start pushing harder on smart home tech. For Apple, that
should predominantly mean improving the way we interact with our
smart devices, including redesigning the Home app and beefing up
Siri's smart home controls.
Of course, there will be new iPhones and iPads somewhere along
the way, and if rumor has it, perhaps a couple of different
versions of the Apple Watch, too. A second-generation version of
AirPods Pro might help quell some of the lingering issues besetting
early adopters of those first-generation models. Updates to macOS,
iOS, and iPadOS will no doubt headline WWDC, though what exactly
they'll bring is anybody's guess at the moment.
Despite the supply chain issues and effects of COVID, Apple is
poised for another wildly successful year. The company made no
shortage of revenue in 2021, and I certainly don't see any reason
for that to change in 2022. So brace yourself: it's going to be a