2022 Winners and losers: Apple
It was a challenging year for phone makers as chip shortages and factory shutdowns wreaked havoc on the supply chain. Even Apple was affected, although less than many of its rivals, which allowed it to shine in a big way.
Looking back at Apple’s 2022 brings us to the same sentiment as 2021 before it – the more things change, the more they stay the same. Apple is one of the more predictable companies in the tech world, which causes us to take Cupertino’s technological brilliance for granted sometimes.
All things considered Apple had a good year. All of its products were good, some were even great. But there were still underachievers and since “winners and underachievers” doesn’t have the same ring let’s look at Apple’s winners and losers for 2022.
Winners: iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
The iPhone is Apple’s best-seller, and the 14 Pro’s sold the most out of the four iPhone 14 models. That means that Apple made a lot of money from its Pro lineup. There are good reasons for this. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max feature the first Dynamic Island notch, the first truly high-megapixel camera on an iPhone, autofocusing ultrawide cameras, and the latest A16 Bionic chipset.
But beyond specs on a sheet, the new Pros deliver class-leading build quality, displays, and outstanding photo and video quality. Couple all of that with Apple’s high margins, none higher than in the iPhone Pro, and these two are amazing winners for Apple.
Loser: Apple MR headset
For years now we’ve been hearing of Apple’s Mixed Reality headset, but end of this year turns into next year and then the year after and so on. Currently, Apple MR is slated for the second half of 2023 due to apparent issues with the software. And that tentative estimate could easily spill into 2024. You can’t delay a project forever without thinking you need to start from scratch and at that point cancellation may also be a possibility.
Current forecasts predict less than 500k shipments, should the Apple MR launch in 2023, which is less than the previous market consensus of 800k-1,200k units, per Kuo – not off to a great start.
The iPad is king of the tablet hill. It has 60% of the entire global market in 2022 and that’s purely in terms of shipments, the disparity when it comes to revenue from tablet sales is even wider. When it comes to tablets, the iPad is the default choice.
It’s not only about recognition, the iPad is just better than any other tablet on the market. It can run rings around Android slates for multitasking and performance, and is better to use and longer-lasting than any Windows hybrid device out there. The myriad of excellent accessories only cements the iPad’s dominance.
Winner: Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch is in a similar situation to the iPad, although its appeal is a bit more limited as it only includes iPhone users. It’s the market leader and it’s a well-established choice in the world of smartwatches. That makes the Apple Watch Ultra the golden standard for many people.
The Ultra is tougher than the regular Apple Watch, thanks to a titanium casing and sapphire glass. It’s also equipped to handle diving thanks to a built-in depth gauge. You can also go climbing with it and have an always-on altimeter. It’s a smartwatch that pushes beyond its Android competition and into professional smartwatch territory.
Loser: iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone mini
This year, Apple chose to go big with the iPhone 14 Plus and scrapped the underperforming mini altogether. That didn’t go as planned however and the Plus isn’t as trending as Apple expected. People seemingly aren’t interested in a non-Pro large iPhone. It’s harder to tell whether it does even worse than the mini, but it’s certainly not an improvement.
Winner: MacBook Air M2
Apple finally updated the MacBook Air with a thin-bezel design, a new, bigger and better screen, and the new, very efficient, M2 processor. It’s a thing of beauty and it immediately jumped to the top of every laptop buyer’s guide in the world. And, because Apple kept the previous MacBook Air with an M1 chip, it will keep making money off it as well.
Loser: Apple stores
But despite a year dominated by success, Apple itself lost a lot due to the many factors of the world we live in. The company faces a shortage of millions of iPhones going into the holiday shopping season. Whether it’s Macs, iPhones, iPads or AirPods, Apple has real trouble keeping up with demand and as a result, it will end up selling a lot less than it could have in normal times.