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Five challenges facing Apple in 2015

Apple has had a cracking year, with stellar sales and sky-high revenues. But despite billions in the bank and products flying off the shelves in record numbers, the Cupertino giant has challenges to face over the coming year.

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Topic: Mobility
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Apple's five challenges for 2015

Apple has had a cracking year, with stellar sales and sky-high revenues. But despite billions in the bank and products flying off the shelves in record numbers, the Cupertino giant has challenges to face over the coming year.

Here are five challenges that the company is faced with in 2015. They range from supply chain issues, to having to come up with ways to make the iPad and OS X more attractive to consumers and enterprise alike.

See also:

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Android fansite picks iPad Air 2 as top tablet

Where your tech focus should be in 2015

Robot gift guide 2014

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Better manage iPhone 6/6 Plus supply

It seem that Apple is having a hard time balancing out production of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to meet demand for the two different products, and some are predicting that there will be shortages of the iPhone 6 next year as Apple shifts focus to the iPhone 6 Plus.

Ideally, Apple needs to get to a position where there are enough iPhones to cater for demand, because the longer people have to wait, the greater the likelihood that they put off making the purchase, or switch to a device that they can get quickly. Shortages would be a bad thing indeed.

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Improve the way iOS updates are sent to devices

Downloading iOS 8 to iPhones and iPads was a real mess. The downloads are huge, which not only strains people's web connections, but means that they have to free up gigabytes of space on devices to install the update (which, for a lot of people, meant deleting stuff).

Then there was the iOS 8.0.1 update that wreaked havoc for new iPhone 6 Plus owners. This incident, albeit rather limited in scope, dented confidence in Apple being able to deliver problem-free updates.

Apple needs to come up with better mechanisms for delivering updates to devices because many people don't use iTunes any more, and making them delete photos and apps in order to make space for updates is a huge and unnecessary hassle.

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Boost flagging iPad sales

As the chart above shows, the iPad juggernaut seems to be running out of steam, and people are no longer buying them like the once did. Whether this is down to the fact that tablets have a longer upgrade cycle than smartphones or whether people are losing interest in them is unknown. Either way, this is a challenge that Apple will need to face over the coming year.

Part of the problem is that the iPhone 6 Plus is cannibalizing iPad usage. People who have both are using their iPads a lot less, and while you might say that doesn't matter since Apple is still selling them a device, it's going to get to a position where they are selling one device instead of two, and that could impact bottom lines.

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More iPad innovation

A big part of the problem with the iPad is that new iPads look and feel very much like old iPads. I still regularly use an iPad 3, and while it is several iterations behind the latest iPad Air 2, it still does everything I want from it.

Also, have you noticed how boring the events for unveiling iPads have become? New iPads are thinner and lighter, and they get features people have already seen on new iPhones. There's a clear need for more innovation when it comes to the iPad, and perhaps we'll start to see that happen next year.

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Get more people using OS X

While Apple is on a roll in the mobile space, it's finding it hard to make the needle move much when it comes to Mac sales. Quarterly sales seem to be stuck around the 5 million mark.

However, the new tighter integration between iOS and OS X could well change that. That said, unless Apple can get the message out there about how this works, it's not going to make a difference.

I expect Apple to start featuring Macs in its iPhone and iPads ads over the coming year to raise awareness of some of the quite frankly awesome new features that it has developed that bring the two platforms closer together.

Also, the integration between the mobile and desktop/notebook has the potential to be a killer business feature, with Microsoft not being in a position to be able to deliver such a feature to its users.

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