Over the first five months of 2012, Apple has done little to impress its core customers. The company has yet to unveil the new iPhone. Its new iPad, while popular, is by no means a major update some observers hoped for. Whats worse, Siri continues to deliver a beta experience, and iCloud, while nice in its own right, has yet to fully realize its potential. When it comes to major new products, Apple has uncharacteristically been quiet this year.
But over the next several months, thatll soon change. And that change will be kicked off at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starting on June 11. According to reports, Apple could announce everything from a new line of MacBook Pros at the Worldwide Developers Conference to the latest iPhone. In addition, the company is slated to launch OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6. Simply put, itll be a big event.
But that could be just the beginning of what might be a major year for Apple product launches. Find out what products you should expect Apple to launch at WWDC (and beyond).
1. New MacBook Pros
According to nearly all of the latest rumors, Apple will be announcing its new MacBook Pro line at WWDC. Those reports claim that the devices could come with a thinner, lighter form factor and Retina Display. Couple that with more powerful components, and it sounds like the Macs might be winners.
2. A new MacBook Air
In addition to MacBook Pros, there is rampant speculation that Apple will be unveiling all new MacBook Airs at its WWDC keynote. Why? Simple: the company is facing a host of competitors delivering Ultrabooks that look eerily similar to the MacBook Air. The time has come for Apple to re-establish itself in the ultra-slim marketplace with the MacBook Air.
3. Wheres the iPhone 5?
Apples iPhone 5 has been rumored for months now, and yet, the company hasnt given any indication that itll be launching anytime soon. But whether its unveiled at WWDC or later in the year, rest assured that Apple will launch a new iPhone in 20124G LTE and all.
4. Expect an iPad Mini Later this Year
Although Apple launched the new iPad earlier this year, theres an increasingly strong chance that the company will unveil a 7-inch slate, called the iPad Mini. At this point, the rumor mill and supply chain sources say that the iPad Mini will be hitting store shelves around the holidays, and that seems to make sense, given Apples recent launch cycles.
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5. iOS 6
This might be one of the easiest predictions to make in this roundup: Apple will be launching a new version of iOS this year. In fact, to go one step further, there appears to be a very good chance that iOS 6, the next installment in the software, will be made available following Apples WWDC keynote on Jun. 11. One of the features reportedly coming to the platform is predicted to be deep Facebook integration.
6. OS X Mountain Lion
Apple has already confirmed that it will launch the latest version of its OS X platform, Mountain Lion, this summer. The operating system wont be a major upgrade over Lion, but will include better security, a streamlined design and features that should enhance overall Mac user productivity. Expect OS X Mountain Lion to be a big winner in the Mac ecosystem this year.
7. A new Maps Application
A deluge of reports coming out of Apple land indicate that the company has decided to remove Google Maps from iOS. In its place, Apple has reportedly developed an all-new mapping application that dramatically improves route guidance and visual representations of a given area. Considering Apple has acquired no fewer than three mapping companies over the last few years, that rumor appears quite likely to come true.
8. An improved Apple TV (not television)
As much as Apples fans would love to get their hands on a television from the company this year, the chances of that seem rather slim. Instead, Apple is far more likely to unveil an improved Apple TV to replace its current set-top box. Apple CEO Tim Cook made it clear at the D10 conference last month that the Apple TV is central to his companys living room plans, and his comments shouldnt be discounted.
9. Its time for a Mac Pro
On Facebook right now, there is an ever-growing petition of current and former Mac Pro owners asking Apple for information on if or when it will launch a new version of its desktop computer. Apple has so far stayed tight-lipped, but considering the popularity of the Mac Pro in design and some enterprise circles, and since it hasnt been updated in about two years, it would only make sense for the company to deliver something new sooner rather than later.
10. Apples long-rumored video streaming
When Apple acquired Lala years ago, there was some speculation that the company would be getting into the music-streaming business. However, that never happened. Now, there is talk of Apple potentially trying its luck in video streaming through its iCloud platform. Whether itll happen or not remains to be seen. But considering where the video-entertainment space is headed, it would only make sense for Apple to offer such a product.