iOS 6 Ready for Launch at Apple WWDC, iPhone 5, iPad Mini Likely No-Shows

NEWS ANALYSIS: The iOS 6 banners are already on display at the Moscone West Convention Center, ready to dazzle attendees who arrive to attend the Apple World Wide Developers Conference. It’s still not clear what exactly will be in iOS 6, but there are still plenty of rumors.

One has to assume that the workers at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco didn€™t get the memo to keep the iOS 6 banners under wraps until June 11. But because they didn€™t get that memo the site of the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) does, in fact, have a number of banners heralding the arrival of iOS 6.

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So it€™s a safe bet that the announcement of the next update of the operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will arrive on Monday, June 11, the first day of the conference. One thing that€™s also a virtual certainty is that the iPhone 5 won€™t be arriving then. Chances are the new iPhone will make its appearance in the fall, just as the iPhone 4S did in 2011. It€™s also a sure thing that there won€™t be a new iPad since the latest version came out in March.

The other big news is probably going to be an announcement for several new additions to the Macintosh line. It€™s been a while since new Macs came out, and there are plenty of new chips for Apple to take advantage of. Intel€™s Sandy Bridge Xeon processors could give a new line of Macs some added oomph.

However, much of the WWDC will be focused on iOS and OS X Mountain Lion, according to Apple€™s announcement regarding the conference. Most of the attention will be on the Monday morning keynote speech by Apple€™s Tim Cook. Cook will tell the assembled Apple developers that iOS 6 will ship in late summer or early fall and that the iPad version will finally deliver the Siri voice response system to eager users.

Right now, it€™s not clear exactly what form Siri will take on the iPad, although there€™s plenty of speculation. Chances are that it€™s not going to be the big microphone that currently appears on the iPhone when Siri is active. There have also been many rumors that Apple will introduce Siri APIs to allow developers to hook into Siri, to some extent at least. Perhaps one of the first applications developed for Siri will be a data use monitor, considering how much Siri depends on cloud-based speech analysis to work.

There are also a series of rumors that Apple will be offering its own mapping program in competition with Google Maps. Perhaps this is true, although Google has just announced a new 3D mapping application. It may also be that Apple is somehow adding its own spin to Google€™s basic program.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...