Tech Drivers
Tech Drivers

Five Apple predictions for 2015

Cramer: Apple Watch a dazzler

After a huge year for new products and services, Apple will have a big act to follow in 2015, and analysts are already handicapping the year ahead.

Between some new hardware (probably), and Apple TV (probably not), here's what Apple watchers are predicting. (Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.)

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Apple Watch in high-end stores

You may be seeing the Apple Watch for sale in places other than at Apple retail stores, as the iPhone maker may opt to sell the higher-end devices in luxury retailers or jewelers, some analysts said.

The company made some notable retail hires in 2014, including Burberry's former CEO Angela Ahrendts and the sales director of the luxury watch maker TAG Heuer. And it's likely Apple will begin to reveal its larger retail plan in relation to these hires and the Apple Watch next year.

"They clearly are planning to learn something from the way fashion articles are being sold in the past and probably make use of some of the contacts these people have in the fashion industry from a retail channel perspective," said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research.

Unlike the iPhone and other Apple products, the smartwatch will come in a wide range of options, featuring different straps and colors with varying prices. So Apple's normal retail store setup of sparsely populated tables featuring several devices won't necessarily work for the watch, Dawson said.

"Especially for the more expensive ones, they won't want to just have that out on the table for people to play around with. ... So they may need to have a new model and expand into a number places, like jewelers, where people can go and see one of these things," Dawson said.

Considering Apple is planning to launch a gold model of the watch, the price tag for some of the devices may also be a shocker, said Bob O'Donnell, founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research.

"I think the price point is going to be a lot higher than a lot of people expect," O'Donnell said. "A gold watch is a $5,000 plus investment and so it wouldn't shock me to see Apple selling it for that. And I doubt Apple will want to sell $5,000 watches in their store."

How to top the iPhone 6?

Buy Apple's pullback?

Apple's iPhone 6 momentum will last well into 2015, but challenges begin in the second half of the year when the company is likely to reveal the next generation iPhone, some analysts said.

Read MoreWhy can't Apple meet demand for the iPhone 6?

"What are they possibly going to do after the iPhone 6? I think anything they do to the [next generation iPhone] is almost certainly going to be a disappointment because the iPhone 6 hits on so many levels. It makes the next iPhone a big challenge," O'Donnell said.

Still though, expectations for iPhone sales in 2015 are predicted to be huge. Analysts estimate the company will generate 21 percent more in revenue from iPhone sales in the fiscal year 2015 than in 2014, according to FactSet.

"It's all about expectations, especially from a market perspective and the concern is what kind of expectations is Apple going to create and can they possibly live up to that. When you are up on the top it's a lot easier to get knocked off than it is to keep going," O'Donnell said.

Apple Pay no big hit

Despite the hype, Apple Pay will not dominate mobile payments in 2015, some analysts said.

"Apple Pay is a multiyear thing. I don't think 2015 is the year Apple Pay becomes huge. I think it will take a few years," O'Donnell said.

While a slew of retailers already support Apple Pay, it will take more adoption on the retailer side as well as by the credit card companies before the payments system becomes consumers' default way to pay, Dawson said. He also said it's critical the company expand the service outside the U.S.

"My take on Apple Pay is it is going to be a slow-burn success," Dawson said. "In the next few years all of these elements will work their way through, so the time will come, but the question is what will Apple do to accelerate it in the meantime to speed up that evolution and adoption."

iPad sales reverse decline

After several quarters of slowing iPad shipments, the category may finally get a boost.

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Dawson said that unlike iPhones, iPads have a longer upgrade cycle, which is why the product's growth rate has slowed. In the company's third quarter, iPad sales fell 13 percent year over year.

But 2015 is the five-year anniversary for device, and Dawson said he anticipates that we will see an uptick in upgrade rates.

Not everyone thinks the trend will reverse.

"Everything we have seen is the iPad is going to remain the more challenged products for the company," said Scott Kessler, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ. "I don't know that the latest introductions are going to change that trajectory to be honest."

Kessler, who has a "hold" rating on Apple's stock with a price target of $110, said that Apple may launch a larger iPad, but that won't drive huge growth.

New hardware for home

Don't hold your breath for an Apple TV set. Analysts said that most likely was not in the cards for next year. A more likely unveiling is new hardware for a smart home, some analysts said.

Earlier this year Apple revealed HomeKit, which is a feature in iOS8 that will enable users to control smart devices in their home with their iPhone. However, products that utilize HomeKit aren't expected to hit shelves until early 2015.

"I think we could see them acquire companies that do certain types of home automation devices," O'Donnell said, though he didn't mention any specific names of companies.

It's also a possibility that the company might upgrade the Apple TV to make it a smart home hub, O'Donnell said.

Dawson said it's also possible that Apple may buy companies that make parts for its devices, including chipmakers and wireless technology companies.