Apple will hold it’s annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference on Monday. Since there hasn’t been a major product announcement since last October; there is speculated announcements for what seems to be Apple’s entire product line! Since it is not expected to be a 4 hour keynote, unlike other tech companies who will remain nameless, some of these announcements won’t happen at this event, if ever. Here’s my thoughts on the rumored announcements for this week’s upcoming event.
- Macbook Airs/Macbook Pros– The rumor is that the Macbook Airs are sold out in many retail locations signaling an imminent upgrade. Intel also just released their new Haswell processors, so it would make sense for Apple put out a new machine featuring these faster processors. It is also widely rumored that the new Macbook Airs will be featuring a high-resolution retina display.
- Macbook Pro- The Macbook Pro is also rumored to be upgraded to feature the new Haswell processors and slimmer builds for the Retina models. There aren’t many other rumors regarding the Macbook Pros, but it is safe to assume the internal hardware will be updated.
- Mac Pros- The Mac Pro is long overdue for an upgrade, and it was confirmed by CEO Tim Cook that they are working on “a product for Mac Pro customers”. It is unclear whether or not that means it will be a new Mac Pro in it’s current design with upgraded hardware or if it is a different product all together, possibly a souped-up iMac. It is also very likely that the new Mac Pro or Mac Pro-esque product will be the existing product that Tim Cook pledged would be built entirely in the United States. A developers’ conference would be the right place to launch the high-end product like the Mac Pro, but that was the case for the past 2 years.
- Mac OS 10.9- Apple announced its last version of the Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, last year at WWDC and it is likely they will be releasing a new version, code name Cabernet. The new features are rumored to be focused on power-users including a tabbed finder and a revised Safari browser. However, it is widely reported that engineers were taken off Project Cabernet to work on the redesigned iOS 7.
- iOS 7- The new iOS 7 also may be unveiled at this event now under the design guidance of Johnathan Ive, after the departure of Scott Forstall last October. It is rumored that the skumorphic designs, such as the green felt table for game center, it will be replaced by a new flat user interface across the entire environment. It is also rumored to include AirDrop, Apple’s wireless file sharing technology already integrated into OSX. It is possible that this would just be a developers’ preview so they can start building their apps so they are ready when iOS7 goes public.
- iPhone 5s/iPhone 6- If they do release iOS 7, it is very likely that Apple will release new hardware to go along with it. It will most likely be a slightly improved iPhone 5s, as apposed to a brand new phone design. The 5S is rumored to have a faster processor, higher resolution screen, better camera, near field communication technology and possibly a fingerprint scanner, although that doesn’t seem likely to me.
- Cheaper iPhone- There have also been many rumors of a budget-friendly, plastic shelled, iPhone that would be more affordable, primarily for developing countries. I’m honestly not fully convinced that Apple will release a budget iPhone since they offer discounted previous models; including one that is free with contact. I don’t see them adding an additional budget-friendly model unless they are rethinking their pricing strategy.
- New iPad/iPad Mini Retina- I think iPad releases probably the least likely of the rumors. First of all it has been less that a year since the last iPad announcement, although that didn’t stop Apple last time. I think if they do refresh the iPads it will be mostly a performance bump and the addition of a retina display to the iPad Mini.
- Streaming Radio Service- It has been long rumored that Apple is working on it’s own streaming music service and recently has been reported that it has signed a deal with Sony and other record companies making this more likely. It is possible this will be integrated into the iOS 7 announcement but I think it could very possibly be it’s own event as this event is focused on developers and a streaming music service is more consumer-oriented.
After the event on Monday, I will have a complete summary of what happened and what new products were announced.