Apple (AAPL) has had more than a few hiccups since last month's rollout of the Apple Watch. Some of the initial stumbles include a defective key component, surprising feature omissions, and mixed reviews from leading tech bloggers. Buyers with wrist tattoos have also complained that the inked skin messes with the device's sensors.
Then there's the challenge that Apple has in terms of supply. The consumer tech giant hasn't put out official sales figures, but production constraints find most people who preordered Apple Watches still waiting for their devices. This might seem to foster the illusion of success, but things can turn if consumers tire of waiting or Apple doesn't overcome the initial mistakes.
It goes without saying that Apple will need to act quickly if the Apple Watch fails to live up to expectations by the time the titan of tech solves its production issues. It has too much riding on the success of the iPhone -- now accounting for more than two-thirds of Apple's sales -- and it will need something besides its original Macs business to offset its declining iPad and iPod lines. Let's go over a few of the products that are rumored to be next on the class act of Cupertino's drawing board.
Apple has put out several generations of Apple TV, its set-top box that offers access to iTunes videos and streaming apps. It also allows owners of Macs and owners of iOS devices to play content on their TVs.
Apple has bigger dreams when it comes to television, and Steve Jobs even told his biographer that he had finally "cracked it" when it comes to the platform, through either full-blown high-def televisions or a streaming service.
There are plenty of smart televisions already on the market, and the launches earlier this year of Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have piqued consumer interest in streaming television services. This will probably be Apple's next new market.
The rumor mill has been talking up the prospects lately of Apple wheeling out its own car. It wouldn't happen right away, of course. One doesn't jump into the automotive market immediately, and even the more ambitious rumors find the potential iCar not hitting the market for another five years.
However, the chatter keeps getting louder. Fiat's CEO recently met with Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss the tech bellwether's "intervention" in the automotive industry. Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk was asked about Apple's potential entry into the car market, saying that it would be a "great" development.
Musk is upbeat about Apple's potential smart car, even after Apple has hired a few Tesla employees. Musk dismissed the poaching concerns, pointing out that Tesla has hired more Apple employees than Apple has taken warriors from Tesla's front line. Then again, Apple plucking Tesla employees is probably a good indication that Apple is intrigued by this market -- and more so than just the CarPlay dashboard tech that it's currently rolling out implies.
Apple recently took out a patent for a remote viewfinder. Some have argued that this is tied to the recent Apple Watch rollout, but others have speculated that Apple's interest here is the first step in pushing for taking on GoPro (GPRO) in wearable cameras.
Apple has always been trying to improve the camera quality on its iPhones, so the shift to dedicated high-def cameras wouldn't be a surprise. It would be an ideal way to promote its Retina Display tech to an even wider audience. Given GoPro's heady growth at the premium end of the market, it wouldn't be a surprise if this becomes a priority at Apple.
It's safe to say that the Apple Watch isn't the last new product category for the world's most valuable consumer tech company, but if the smartwatch stops ticking, Apple may be quick to hit the market with something new.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, GoPro, and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on the Apple Watch to learn where the real money is to be made for early investors.