7) A streaming TV service
For years, Apple was rumoured to be creating its own streaming TV service to complement its set-top box, and the rumours flared up again in 2015. Reports said that Apple would cobble together a cheaper package of channels like Sling TV or PlayStation Vue, and sell it for much less than the average cable or satellite subscription.
But the plan hit some snags, it seems: channel operators pushed back, and wouldn't give Apple the prices it wanted to be able to deliver cheap bundles. Still, Les Moonves, CEO of American broadcast network CBS, seems confident: "This will happen," he said in December 2015. (It still hasn't happened.)
8) A smart ring
Will the Apple Watch beget the Apple Ring? We're not counting on it, but Apple is at least looking into the possibility. A patent application uncovered in late 2015 shows "devices and methods for a ring computing device," and the illustrations shown are indeed for a wearable device with a screen that sits on your finger.
The touchscreen could be used to interact with the Apple Watch, even, but unless you're a die-hard fan of wearables, chances are that you don't need two of them on at any given time. Would anyone? Apple might try to find out, if the application is any indication.
9) Built-in iPhone joystick
Apple's appreciation for games has seemed begrudging at best over the years, but the immense success of mobile gaming has surely made the company take note. But would Apple really build a gaming-specific hardware function into the iPhone?
It seems far-fetched, yet a patent application shows a concept for a pop-out home button that turns into a physical analog stick. Essentially, you'd push in the standard home button and it would emerge from the flat surface, giving you a proper directional stick for moving characters, steering cars, etc.
Sounds like a neat idea, but also a feature ripe for added repair woes – and very unlike Apple too. And presuming the button-less iPhone X really is Apple's vision for the future of its smartphones, we'd say this rumour is just about toast.