Apple plans to hold its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco June 6-10. For now, the company has said little about its plans at the event, but considering it’s a place for developers to learn more about its operating systems and get help as needed, it would only make sense for software to take center stage. Beyond that, there is a strong possibility that Apple might talk about the iPhone 5, the follow-up to its wildly popular iPhone 4.
Of course, trying to gauge exactly what Apple will do is difficult. The company is notoriously secretive, and for the most part rumors that suggest one announcement or another rarely come true. When it comes to Apple announcements,it’s a coin toss to see what it will and will not unveil at any given event.
But that shouldn’t stop those who follow the technology industry from discussing what Apple could unveil at WWDC in June. Some topics seem like guarantees, while others are long shots. In either case, a healthy helping of news will be coming out of the event.
Read on to find out what Apple could unveil at WWDC.
1. All the details on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will be taking center stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The platform, which is expected to launch this summer, was first unveiled last year by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. At WWDC, the operating system will be put on full display for developers to inspect. Perhaps most importantly, if Apple holds its annual keynote, the company can talk about details that consumers would care about.
2. iOS 5
If Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will be on display at WWDC, it’s quite possible that iOS 5 will as well. Currently, rumors suggest Apple might actually unveil iOS 5 in April and then talk more about it at WWDC. In either case, Apple’s mobile platform will be a hot topic on the showroom floor, as well as during any keynote Apple might hold.
3. The iPhone 5
A new rumor has cropped up from startup blog TechCrunch claiming Apple will not discuss the iPhone 5 at WWDC. But given its history of unveiling the device at the show each year, that rumor might not come true. Apple has used its stage at WWDC to ramp up interest in its smartphone, which typically launches over the summer. The chances of it not doing so this year in a keynote address seem awfully slim.
4. Indication of Steve Jobs’ health
Speaking of a keynote address, there is a good possibility that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be on hand to talk about the future of his company’s operation. His performance on that stage will give both the industry and investors another opportunity to see how he’s holding up. While he is currently on indefinite medical leave, Jobs did appear at the iPad 2 introduction in March. He might make another appearance at WWDC if he has something important to say. Jobs won’t necessarily mention his health status, but if he’s on stage and looking good, the market will respond well. On the flip side of that, if he doesn’t show up, rumors will run rampant about his health. Look for some kind of indication of Jobs’ health-good or bad-at WWDC.
Look for Talk About 4G Support
5. iPad 2 sales figures
If Apple likes to do anything, it’s talk up sales figures. And if the company holds a keynote address at WWDC, oneshould expect it to talk about iPad 2 sales figures. Given the fact that the iPad 2 is still taking weeks to ship and finding it on store shelves is extremely difficult, those sales figures will likely be quite high.
6. A free MobileMe?
Speculation abounds that Apple will be unveiling a free MobileMe service at some point in the future. And if it does in fact have plans for that, what better time to talk about it than at WWDC? Currently, MobileMe is used for Mac, iPhone and iPad owners to sync content across their many devices, among many other functions. It costs $99 per year. If Apple decides to do what the rumors suggest and improve MobileMe while making it free of charge, it would only make sense for the company to talk about that at a software event like WWDC.
7. A commitment to 4G
Apple might just talk about 4G and its commitment to the ultra-high-speed service at WWDC. If Apple unveils the iPhone 5 at the event, the company would have the perfect opportunity to talk about 4G. As the competition continues to release 4G-capable devices, the time has come for Apple to follow suit. And it likely will do so with the iPhone 5. Simply put, if Apple talks about the iPhone 5 at WWDC, it will discuss 4G and its commitment to it as well.
8. Improvements to the Mac App Store
A key component in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is Apple’s Mac App Store. Unlike Snow Leopard, which required users to download the marketplace to access it, Lion will come with the Mac App Store built-in. If Apple has designs on making the Mac App Store an integral part of its strategy going forward-and it seemingly does-the company will almost undoubtedly discuss the success of the marketplace so far and talk about how it wants to improve it. After all, it has been available for months, and Apple is not a company that allows an important service to stand pat for long.
9. Details on its future multiplatform smartphone plans
One of the big question marks about Apple’s business right now is how it plans to release future versions of its iPhone. The iPhone 4 was made available to AT&T customers last year. The Verizon iPhone came to that carrier’s network earlier this year. Will it continue to stagger launches in that way or will it simply release the iPhone at the same time on all carrier networks? Considering the iPhone 5 could only be months away, expect Apple to address that at WWDC.
10. iTunes improvements
Another hot topic at WWDC might be iTunes. Apple’s Ping platform, which allows users to connect socially through the service, hasn’t been as groundbreaking as Apple made it out to be. It’s quite possible that the company will try to improve that service. There’s also speculation that a major overhaul could be in the works, with iTunes gaining a browser-based element. As one might expect, Apple hasn’t commented on the possibility of that, but given all the rumors surrounding iTunes, expect some serious improvements to that platform at WWDC.