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Friday, June 3, 2011

What will we see at WWDC?

Apple's annual developer's conference, WWDC, is coming up the week of June 6th. The last few years, this has been the venue Apple has used to introduce the next iPhone to the world. But this year is shaping up to be a little different. All of the rumors have the iPhone not being released until sometime around September along with iOS 5.  So without a new iPhone to show us, what will we be seeing in the SteveNote?

  1. Mac OS X Lion - We should be seeing a nearly complete version of Lion, the latest incarnation of Mac OS X. I would guess that everyone in attendance will receive a copy of the release candidate and we will get a date for the release of Lion.
  2. iOS 5 - We should also get a preview of the upcoming iOS 5 release and probably availability of the first developer previews and a release date probably in the September time frame.
  3. iCloud - This will be the big announcement, Apple's revamped and renamed cloud service, replacing MobileMe.  Not much is known about this new service other than it is going to include some kind music locker and streaming service that Apple has already secured some kind of agreements from the 4 major record labels for.  I would also expect that this service will be highly integrated into both Lion and iOS 5.

And what about the infamous "One More Thing"?  Here are some of my ideas for what we may see...

  1. iPhone 4s - This is a long shot for sure, but maybe all of the hype around the "delay" of the next iPhone was a smoke screen.  I think Apple has 2 or more plans for the next iPhone and things just aren't aligned yet for the iPhone 5 and even Fall of this year would be a lofty goal, so Apple's fallback plan could be a revamped iPhone 4 with the A5 chip, GSM/CDMA combo chip that will allow it to work on all 4 major U.S. carriers and will come in 32GB and 64GB variations, leaving the existing iPhone 4 16GB model in the line up as a $99 option.
  2. AppleTV update - Also a long shot.  With the new a5 chip, 1080p output and when upgraded to iOS5 later this year, an App Store.
  3. MacBook Air Update - Possible, but not likely.  New versions based on Intel Sandy Bridge chips and including a Thuderbolt port.  Another long shot could be a new LCD display panel released along the the new Airs that would connect via Thunderbolt and have USB, ethernet, etc... ports built into the display so you would only have to make 2 connections when you dock your laptop in the office or at home and all of your devices would be connected through the display.
  4. Time Capsule update - More likely.  An update to the Time Capsule that would work like a Home Server and be connected to your iCloud.  This device would act as a local cache between your devices and the cloud, storing local copies of recent and heavily used files so that they would be readily available when connected to you home or office network.

We will just have to wait until Monday to see what Steve has in store for us...

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