Apple found its groove again in 2014 with hot products like the iPhone 6 and the iPad Air2. The company heads in 2015 with plenty of momentum but also crucial questions over how it will manage to satisfy the unquenchable demand for something fresh.
Here are five things to expect in the coming months:
Will this be the year that Apple TV becomes something more than niche alternative to cable? There is much debate out there. Most agree Apple won't unveil a stand-alone TV set, which could disappoint some. Others, like CNET's Brian Tong, say that won't matter. He expects many other networks will follow HBO, CBS and the NBA in offering streaming, a la carte options in 2015, making Apple TV all the more compelling. Add to that the possibility of a set top box with a game-changing interface, he said, and you have something that is definitely buzz-worthy.
Apple Watch -- which was unveiled to great hype in September -- could be released this spring, perhaps even as early as February according to some reports. But will it be a hit? Tong remains unconvinced, arguing that a starting price estimated at $350 could be a turnoff for a device that most users don't consider essential. But the guys at MacWorld beg to disagree. They expect it will be a winner, citing the growth of the wearables market and the numerous apps that Apple will likely offer with the watch.
A Healthier Apple
Among the apps that could really benefit from the arrival of Apple Watch is HealthKit. Rolled out in September, it allows users to track a range of health and fitness data and opens the door for Apple to move deeper into the health and wellness management space. As Mashable points out, Apple has teamed up with the prominent partners in the field including the Mayo Clinic, and appears committed to developing monitoring software and HealthKit integration in the months ahead.
On the Home Front
Apple unveiled HomeKit last year, a feature in iOS8 that allows users to control smart devices in their homes from their iPhone or iPad. So this year could see the arrival of several new products that aim to utilize HomeKit. That could mean Apple will be acquiring companies that offer home automation services, Bob O'Donnell, founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, told CNBC. It could also mean an upgrade to Apple TV to make it a smart home hub.