Apple released a bunch of exciting hardware in 2022. While we can all agree the tech giant had more hits than misses this year, there were still a handful of products that missed the mark. While not inherently awful, these devices fell short of the quality and experience that consumers have come to expect from Apple products.
Apple in 2022: disappointing releases
Note that the following list is not in any particular order.
1. 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2, which was released in June, is widely regarded the Apple’s most disappointing product launch of 2022. The only upgrade offered by the $1299 MacBook Pro is the addition of the M2 chip. It retains the same design, display, ports, and Touch Bar as its predecessor.
Adding onto this, the 13-inch MacBook Pro was launched alongside the redesigned M2 MacBook Air, the latter was praised for its fresh design and stellar performance. In fact, most users who reviewed the lackluster 13-inch MacBook Pro advised consumers to go for the M2 MacBook Air instead.
2. Third-generation iPhone SE
There are not enough words to describe how disappointing the third-generation iPhone SE has been for consumers and tech enthusiasts. The only upgrades the mid-range iPhone offers are the A15 Bionic chip and 5G connectivity. Chances are, if a consumer is in the market for a budget-friendly smartphone, they might be okay with a slightly older processor. And God forbid, but they may also be 100% satisfied with a smartphone that does not have 5G.
Keeping the minor internal upgrades aside, the third-gen iPhone SE has no apparent place in Apple’s current iPhone lineup. The device still sports the same design as the iPhone 7 with chunky bezels and Touch ID. Mind you, the iPhone 7 came out in 2016, making it six years old. That’s right, the iPhone 14 Pro Max may feature a Dynamic Island and a 48MP camera system, but Apple cannot be bothered to place updated internals in the body of an iPhone XR to make a refreshed iPhone SE.
There has been some talk about the tech giant pushing back the release of the fourth-generation iPhone SE to 2024. I truly hope that it ends up going that route if it means that consumers will finally get an updated design.
3. iPad (10th-generation)
The 10th-generation iPad seems to be a strong device at first glance. It offers a bunch of shiny new features in a flashy, redesigned unit. However, it is equally as confusing. Truly, who is this iPad meant for? Not only does the device cost more than the 9th-generation iPad but it also lacks features like a headphone jack and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil.
These things may be important for students who cannot afford an iPad Pro. In addition, if we take into account the combined price of the Magic Keyboard Folio and the iPad 10, which is $700, the device becomes a non-starter for most consumers. In fact, the iPad 10 is just a testament to how confusing Apple’s iPad lineup has become in recent years.
4. iPhone 14 Plus
This year, Apple added the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus to its flagship lineup in place of a mini variant. The larger iPhone 14 sounds like a winner in theory. It offers 5G connectivity, an improved front camera, 6GB of RAM, and Emergency SOS via Satellite. Its bigger size also means a bigger battery. Numerous reviewers have even given the iPhone 14 Plus their stamp of approval. Keeping all of this in mind, it does not make sense why the device flopped. Actually. It saw worse sales than the iPhone 12 and 13 mini.
The $899 price point of the iPhone 14 Plus could be the reason it has not seen high sales. Why would consumers spend $899 on a baseline model when spending $100 extra could get them the iPhone 14 Pro? Of course, they would prefer the higher-end model over the standard.
Demand for the iPhone 14 Plus has been so lackluster that Apple had to cut shipment orders for the device. In addition, the tech giant is now reconsidering its 2023 iPhone 15 lineup. As of right now, it is difficult to tell if the ‘Plus’ moniker will stage a successful comeback.
5. Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 is considered to be an incremental upgrade. It features a new temperature sensor and Crash Detection. That’s pretty much it. Priced at $399, there is nothing about the Apple Watch Series 8 that would warrant an upgrade from the Apple Watch Series 7. If you do not own an Apple Watch, the updated Apple Watch SE sounds like a better option than the Apple Watch Series 8.
Moving forward, we hope that Apple takes the criticism it received in 2022 and turns it into something productive. Give the customers what they want!