In 2015, Apple’s ecosystem got larger (and harder to leave) than ever
Apple had an extraordinarily busy 2015. Most of its efforts were focused on hardware and software rather than niche initiatives like CarPlay or HomeKit—we got new kinds of Macs, a new kind of iPad, and an iPhone with a couple of twists. And perhaps most importantly, it launched two entirely new platforms with new iOS-derivative OSes, App Stores, and SDKs for developers: the Apple Watch and WatchOS, and the new Apple TV with tvOS.
With those new platforms and the updates to old ones, Apple is building on the platform work it's been doing since it launched iCloud back in 2011. As it broadens and deepens the links between its existing platforms and builds brand-new ones, it makes it more and more appealing for people with Apple products to buy other Apple products. Apple has benefitted from a “halo effect” since the iPod’s heyday, when the popularity of its music players convinced more people to buy Macs. Now the halo has been intentionally baked into all of its products, hardware and software, and the lineup is much larger than it was a decade ago.
Like we did last year, we'll run down Apple's entire lineup product by product, examining where the company went in 2015 and where it's going next year.