Apple does a lot to keep consumers locked in its ecosystem and has demonstrated its latest push with the release of the iPhone X. From mostly closed-source software to proprietary hardware, many find it hard to separate from Apple products once introduced. The company’s current launch cycle seems to be just a hint of what consumers can expect in the future to keep them buying more.  

Reports indicate Apple has surpassed Samsung as the top U.S. vendor, just days after the iPhone X released to market. The company also recently reported a highly lucrative fourth quarter earnings, indicating it is as popular as ever with no signs of slowing. Here are some ways Apple may continue to maintain its staying power in the market in the coming year and beyond.

iPhone X exclusive features to make customers switch

Face ID, Animoji, an OLED display and an updated design all make the iPhone X the most coveted of iPhones. While some older iPhones include features, such as a dual-camera system and wireless charging, Apple has given its super-premium device a je ne sais quoi that had consumers lined up outside Apple Store to purchase the device Nov. 3. The late-year launch for the iPhone X makes it more of a 2018 device than 2017, giving the feel that consumers are getting Apple’s device of the future now.

Older and cheaper iPhone options still on roster

Those who don’t have $999 to blow on the iPhone X need not worry because there are several cheaper iPhones from which to choose. In addition to the new iPhone 8, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s remain available at discounted prices. In the past, a two-year-old model like the iPhone 6s would have been discontinued the launch of new hardware, but it now sells for as low as $449 new.

Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s were the flagships of their age, meaning consumers still get Apple’s top of the line features, with the addition of some sorely missed features, such as headphone jacks and color options not found on the iPhone X.

Apple created more need to buy extra features

Apple is infamous for having accessories that are comparable in expense to its devices. Various design and feature upgrades have made it so consumers would have to pay even more to enable various, once standard, functionalities. Devices, including the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X do not feature 3.5mm headphone jacks and users who prefer the older port to Apple's Lightning port will have to purchase an additional dongle to enable the feature. Apple also offers a special dongle for users who want to listen to music and charge their device at the same time. The iPhone 8 and iPhone X also support fast charging, but Apple sells the cables needed to enable the feature separately from its devices.

AirPower

Apple has enabled wireless charging on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X and teased its proprietary AirPower charging pad for a 2018 release. The charging pad is expected to support charging multiple devices at once and may cost $199 at launch. While devices supporting wireless charging have been on the market for several years, Apple’s introduction to space could be the jolt needed to make wireless charging more popular. Ikea has advertised its wireless charging capable furniture in accordance with the iPhone 8 launch. Much like Samsung did with the 2016 Galaxy S6, Apple has painted a picture of having wireless charging readily available in public places thanks to AirPower. In users homes, AirPower would be another pricey accessory, much different than those already on the market, as most wireless charging stations can charge only one device at a time.

What to expect from Apple device launches in 2018?

Apple’s 2017 launches have been a turning point in the company’s product story and they may give clues as to what consumers can expect in the future. Products released in 2018 and beyond may continue to introduce more exclusive features to increase their value proposition and subsequently their price. Apple may continue to schedule the launch of a super-premium iPhone model to coincide with the holiday season to avoid having to provide discounts. Instead of having a standard iPhone line, consumers may see even more design, feature and price options for iPhones. Apple may continue to tweak features to propel accessory dependency for the most quality experience. One positive would be that the iPhone X will likely see a price cut by the time 2018 devices are announced.