Apple will focus on wearables in 2024 as the iPhone shifts into overdrive

Shawn Knight

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Something to look forward to: Apple will devote significantly more time to its wearables business in 2024. For starters, the company is expected to address its somewhat confusing AirPods lineup. As Bloomberg's Mark Gurman highlights, Apple's mid-grade third-gen AirPods don't offer a ton of distinguishing features over the second-gen offering, which is still available priced at $129 (versus $179 for the second-gen set).

There's also the AirPods Pro (second-gen) for $249, and plenty of competition from rivals like Samsung and Nothing to tempt buyers.

The solution, Gurman claims, could be two new fourth-gen non-Pro models with a fresh new design, an updated carrying case, and USB-C charging. The premium newcomer will also have active noise cancelling, we're told, while an updated version of the AirPods Max will replace the Lightning connector with USB-C.

Gurman additionally touched on a software-based change that could be huge for AirPods: hearing aid functionality. If executed properly, Apple has the potential to upend a multibillion-dollar industry, Gurman said.

Elsewhere, Apple is said to be preparing a major overhaul of the Apple Watch. A pair of new health features to detect hypertension and sleep apnea would make the already handy wearable even more useful (and easier to market). A redesign is also said to be in the works for at least one model, but it's all due out in 2024 and won't help with stagnant sales this holiday season.

Next year could also be a big one for Vision Pro, the $3,500 AR headset unveiled at WWDC back in June. Apple is expected to start training retail partners next month on how to use and sell the device, suggesting launch is imminent. Pricing will have to come down before the headset can make a big splash with consumers but within a couple of generations, it could start to find traction.

Major updates are also in the pipeline for the Mac and iPad, and of course we can't forget about the yearly iPhone refresh expected in September.

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Aight I'll take the flak ... im kind of excited to see what the Vision Pro does to the market. I'm not exactly sure why, because I could just buy any old headset already. But I can see myself lying in bed, working on a triple monitor array whilst my cat sleeps next to me, and its pretty nice.
 
Might as well...a phone is a phone these days. Fast enough for 99% of users, camera good enough.
They are all slim, colorful, sexy and stylish enough.
Folding phones are about the only new innovation in the last few years.
 
"A pair of new health features to detect hypertension and sleep apnea would make the already handy wearable even more useful"

Expect to pay at least $50 more for these features...!
 
With Apple 2024 focus on Watch and Vision Pro don't expect much of improvement or new features for iPhone 16...!
 
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