Year in Review: Everything Apple Introduced in 2018

2018 was a big year for Apple, and while there were some misses like the AirPower, we saw a redesigned Apple Watch Series 4, a new lower-cost iPhone XR with an edge-to-edge display and Face ID, overhauled iPad Pro models, and more.

Below, we've created a quick overview of every major product Apple announced or debuted in 2018.

apple2018productlineup

HomePod (February)

Apple's first smart speaker, the HomePod, launched in February 2018. The HomePod, which supports Siri and Apple Music, is designed to be Apple's competitor to devices like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home.

homepod duo
HomePod can be used for listening to music, but it's also a smart home device with built-in Siri functionality for controlling HomeKit products. Siri can also answer queries, set timers, place phone calls, and so much more, allowing the HomePod to serve as a music hub and an in-home personal assistant.

To differentiate the HomePod from the competition, Apple focused heavily on music quality. Due to its internals, HomePod is more expensive than a lot of competing products at $349, but you can sometimes find it on sale.

Sixth-Generation iPad (March)

Apple in March introduced a new sixth-generation iPad, which is packing a lot of features for its $329 price point.

It features a super fast A10 processor and Touch ID, and while it looks the same as the fifth-generation iPad, there's one important distinction -- the sixth-generation iPad supports the Apple Pencil.

newipadwithapplepencil
2018 is the year that we got an iPad that works with the Apple Pencil at a super low price point, making Apple's tablet and pencil accessory available to more people than ever.

MacBook Pro (July)

In July, Apple introduced revamped 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with faster "Coffee Lake" chips with up to 6 cores.

The new 2018 MacBook Pro doesn't feature any visual changes, but with new Intel chips and Radeon Pro and Pro Vega graphics cards for the 15-inch model, Apple's biggest notebook is more powerful than ever.

macbookpro2018sidebyside
Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro models support up to 32GB of RAM, continue to offer a Touch Bar, and have a new third-generation butterfly keyboard that's meant to better hold up to dust and debris to prevent key failure.

There's a new T2 chip that offers enhanced security with secure boot and on-the-fly encrypted storage, and the new models support SSDs up to 4TB in size.

New Software (September)

New versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS were previewed in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference and released in the fall alongside new hardware.

iOS 12 brought features like improved performance, Group FaceTime with up to 32 people, customizable Memoji, and Siri improvements in the form of a new Siri Shortcuts feature designed to let you create multi-app multi-step shortcuts for automating tasks on your iPhone and iPad.

ios12animojimemoji
The update introduced a comprehensive set of time management and focus tools, such as a new Screen Time feature that's designed to let you know how much time you're spending on your iPhone, how long you're spending in apps, how often you pick up your phone, and which apps are sending the most notifications.

App limits were also included to help you cut down on usage, and Apple added more robust parental controls.

ios12screentime2
watchOS 5 brought Walkie-Talkie for communication, new Workout competitions for motivation, better notifications, and apps like Podcasts, while tvOS 12 introduced support for Dobly Atmos, new screensavers created in partnership with the International Space Station, and a zero sign-on feature designed to make it easier to sign into apps that require cable authentication.

watchos5walkietalkieseries4
macOS Mojave introduced a long-awaited Dark Mode, Stacks for cleaning up a messy desktop, and a Dynamic Desktop feature with wallpapers that change subtly throughout the day.

macosmojavestacks
Finder gained customizable Quick Actions and a revamped Quick Look view for making file edits more quickly, while a new Continuity Camera feature added an option to import photos from an iPhone or iPad right into a document.

macosmojavedynamicwallpaper
As part of an upcoming initiative to port iOS apps to Mac, Apple introduced multiple new apps, including Apple Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos, and as always, the update includes important security enhancements.

iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max (September and October)

Apple stuck with a three iPhone lineup in 2018, but expanded features like Face ID and an edge-to-edge display to all iPhones.

The iPhone XS and XS Max are natural successors to the original iPhone X, adopting an edge-to-edge OLED display, an improved dual-lens camera, Face ID, and a new super fast A12 Bionic chip.

iphonexsmax
The iPhone XS and XS Max don't come cheap with prices starting at $999 and $1099, respectively, so Apple also introduced the iPhone XR, which has many similarities to the iPhone XS and XS Max but cuts some corners to keep prices lower.

Rather than using an OLED display, the iPhone XR features an edge-to-edge LCD, but it has the same Face ID system and A12 chip as the iPhone XS models. It doesn't have a dual-lens camera, instead adopting a single-lens camera, and it has slower LTE, no 3D Touch, and an aluminum frame instead of a stainless steel frame.

iphonexr
Despite these differences, many customers have been drawn to the iPhone XR because it's just as speedy as the XS, has a longer battery life, and has a lower starting price -- $749.

Apple released the iPhone XS and XS Max in September, but manufacturing on the XR was a bit delayed so it didn't come out until October.

Apple Watch Series 4 (September)

Alongside the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, Apple introduced a revamped and redesigned Apple Watch, the Series 4. The Apple Watch Series 4 features the first ever Apple Watch redesign with a slimmer body and a display that's up to 30 percent larger.

Apple Watch models now measure in at 40 and 44mm, up from 38 and 42mm. A whole set of new watch faces came with the new larger display, and Apple introduced a black ceramic and sapphire crystal backing across the entire lineup.

applewatchseries4watchfaces
Apple continues to sell both GPS only and LTE models of the Apple Watch Series 4, and this version has a faster, more efficient S4 processor that offers 2x the speed, a new W3 wireless chip, and a 50 percent louder speaker.

There's a new set of electrodes in the Digital Crown which, when combined with the sensors in the back of the watch, can be used to capture a single-lead electrocardiogram right on the wrist, checking for atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation can be a sign of a serious health problem, letting Apple Watch users get early warnings about potential health issues. ECG readings are limited to the United States at this time because of the need for regulatory approval, but Apple is working on expanding availability.

iPad Pro (October)

In October, Apple introduced overhauled 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with iPhone X-style features. The new iPad Pro models have no Home button, with Apple instead introducing a larger edge-to-edge display and slimmed down bezels for more screen real estate.

With no Home button, the 2018 iPad Pro models unlock through the Face ID facial recognition system, which has been improved to accommodate either horizontal or vertical unlocking.

appleipadprodesign2
There's a fast A12X processor inside, and these are the thinnest iPads ever thanks to a redesigned body that's reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5. This new redesigned body necessitated the removal of the headphone jack, another controversial move.

Both of these models support an all new Apple Pencil 2 that connects and charges magnetically, doing away with the Lightning connector on the original accessory. Speaking of Lightning, the new iPad Pro models feature a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, allowing them to connect to more accessories than ever before.

ipadproapplepencil

Mac mini (October)

The Mac mini got its first refresh in more than four years in October, with Apple introducing a new Space Gray machine that features quad to 6-core processors, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and support for up to 64GB RAM and 2TB of storage.

No design changes were made to the Mac mini, but the internal layout was tweaked to support the new thermal needs of the faster processors.

macmini2018
Apple's smallest desktop machine also includes a T2 chip for on-the-fly data encryption and HEVC video transcoding up to 30 times faster, along with a Secure Enclave to make sure the software you're loading during the boot process hasn't been tampered with.

The Mac mini's revamped, updated hardware hasn't come cheap, and the machine is now priced starting at $799.

MacBook Air (October)

October brought a surprise refresh of the MacBook Air, Apple's most affordable notebook. The new 13-inch machine features a Retina display for the first time with slimmer bezels for more available screen real estate.

It features two Thunderbolt 3 chips, Intel's 8th-generation chips, 16GB RAM, and support for up to 1.5TB of storage space. It too is equipped with the T2 chip designed to make Macs more secure, and it adopted a third-generation butterfly keyboard, a larger trackpad, and louder speakers.

macbookairtrio
The new MacBook Air features the same tapered design as the previous model, but it is 10 percent thinner and takes up 17 percent less volume. It has the longest battery life of any Apple notebook.

Prior to this update, the MacBook Air had not been refreshed for years and it was believed Apple would phase it out in favor of the 12-inch MacBook, but that didn't happen.

The new MacBook Air is more powerful than the 12-inch MacBook, and now that the two machines have the same display, there's not much setting them apart except for the 12-inch MacBook's slightly smaller body. The 12-inch MacBook did not get a 2018 update and it's not clear what will happen to it in the future.

What's Next?

Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors, because tomorrow, we'll be highlighting all of the products that we expect to see from Apple during 2019. 2019 is shaping up to be an even bigger year than 2018, with a TV service on the horizon, a modular Mac Pro in the works, and new iPhones and iPads in development.

Top Rated Comments

Greymacuser Avatar
27 months ago
2018 in Apple in a nutshell:
•No new professional desktops...AGAIN.
•Reheated mac minis and laptop leftovers.
•More ports lost.
•Un-innovative iToys.
•Alexia knockoffs.
•Mass content editing/censorship.
•Unfulfilled promises on a new Mac Pro.

On the plus side, its never been easier to build your own hackintosh that outstrips anything Apple can cough up.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
27 months ago
Almost as important as what they did release is what they didn't.

2018 when by without us seeing the iPad, iMac, and Mac mini gain a notch:



And despite containing vibration motors, Apple still hasn't released MacBooks that can scoot around our desks like little RC cars:



Here's to hoping Apple can step up its game in 2019. :(

Attachment Image

Attachment Image

Attachment Image

Attachment Image

Attachment Image
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krause734 Avatar
27 months ago
Apple drove me to build a Windows PC this year! Thanks Tim!
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goodcow Avatar
27 months ago


I'm not bragging but I've long been an Apple fanboy (20 years now) and it used to be that I could easily own pretty much every generation of Apple's devices for around $5,000 a year. Today, that's not possible anymore. Everything is about 25% higher than it was 3 years ago. My last top of the line MacBook pro was 2600, iPad was $700 and iPhone was $900. It's all more now and sure, I could just not buy it but i'm still a fanboy and who needs food anyway?

This post is sad, on multiple levels. Stop justifying the price hikes by purchasing everything.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
27 months ago
More asininely priced iPhones.

More under-clocked, under-spec’d and obscenely overpriced non professional Macs.

More focusing on toys like the iPad instead of Macs.

More buggy software.

More pandering to causes, taking the focus off of making great products.

More disrespect for their customers.

Apple’s 2018 Year In Review....
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CheesePuff Avatar
27 months ago

2019 is shaping up to be an even bigger year than 2019

2019 to be bigger than 2019!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...