Apple WWDC Rumor Round Up And Predictions
I’ve had a head cold all this weekend, so I’m down to the wire with this WWDC prediction post, but it’s probably for the better since the rumors have gotten more odd and the oddest one hit the blogosphere tonight.
New iPhone: It’s almost a given that tomorrow will bring a 3G iPhone announcement of some sort, but the devil is in the details. Some pics were floated that show black and red colors, 16 GB, and video iChat. These photos rub me the wrong way, specifically the missing button on the red model, the dorky text, and the rather unpolished looking guy grinning at the presumed iPhone camera. I’m going to call the photos fake.
iPhone availability – tomorrow or “later?”: Conflicting reports arrive about boxes showing up in stores right now and employees asked to not take time off, and delays in the manufacturing channel. It’s good to note that the first iPhone went on sale June 29, 2007 making the anniversary a fair target to expect this new iPhone. Based on my gut feeling of Apple generally pre-announcing stuff and being slightly behind, I’ll say the phone will be announced and demoed tomorrow, but won’t be available in stores until June 29, despite my wishes it were otherwise. Perhaps the boxes received are demo models or “Mac Fusion” computers.
iPhone Firmware leaked: This has more credibility and some information gleaned is a huge number of carriers that will presumably be compatible with the iPhone, and some hints of GPS technology. Score.
Mac Fusion: This one comes from The Unofficial Weblog (I also saw Venture Beat write it up) and describes a “Mac Nano” that has the form factor of the Apple TV in a grey box, and is intended to triple-boot OS X, Linux, and Windows. This rumor has that “truth is stranger than fiction” feeling where a hoaxer would try to come up with something more plausible. Plus, the developer angle of this Mac fits in with the whole WWDC thing.
Apple releasing OS X for PCs: Granted, the author of this article was just tossing this out there, but this rumor comes up every year and it never feels right. I know many PC users are dreaming of this day, but I feel it will never become a reality as long as Mac hardware sales are on the up and up and Apple is raking in the coinage as things are. OS X on PCs is the ultimate back up plan in case all else fails and Apple is on the ropes. And Apple’s definitely not on the ropes right now, so forget about it.
Tablet Mac: The tablet Mac rumor keeps popping up as well, but truth be told – it would be a paradigm shift in computing and I’m sure Apple wants to do it right, as in, not a half-assed version of multi-touch that merely replaces mouse commands with finger pointing. Apple’s multi-touch related patents show something quite complex which will be worth waiting for. Even fall feels too soon – I’d push this to MacWorld 2009 when Apple needs the “next iPhone.” So I don’t expect a Tablet Mac tomorrow.
So here’s what I’m expecting:
- Announcement of the 3G iPhone, 16 GB standard, subsidized by AT&T to $199. It will have GPS and a better camera. There will be no 32 GB model. The iPhone 2 will be announced for pre-ordering but actual availability will be June 29.
- Apple will discuss the “two bridges” in the invite: developing for OS X now means the desktop and mobile devices. They’ll make it easy for developers to code for both. It will be hinted that Apple will have other mobile devices other than the iPhone and iPod Touch (Tablet Mac), but nothing concrete will be announced.
- iPhone App Store goes live. Expect talk and demos of cool apps developed by people outside of Apple.
- Rebranding .Mac as “Mobile Me,” providing cool stuff for your iPhone, like getting your data off your Mac and onto your iPhone.
- 10.6 will be a maintenance update and available for Intel and PowerPC. Jobs will mention the Intel adoption rate is moving faster than expected, just now crossing 50%, and will hint that PowerPC support will be dropped for 10.7 in 2010.
- (One surprise) The Mac Fusion.
That’s a really full docket. I welcome being proven totally wrong tomorrow morning at 10.