Saturday, June 05, 2010

My WWDC prediction post

As you Apple fanbois know, WWDC is this coming week, and it's the only major public conference/event left that El Jobso performs a Stevenote at. No more Apple Expo, no more MacWorld, and all the other appearances he makes are special press events - like the iPad announcement and the OS 4.0 announcement. Real Stevenotes are rare. Apple is focusing tightly on the iPhone OS at this year's WWDC - no major MacOS stuff on tap, and no IT track, either. But, as usual, speculation runs wild. Here's my call on what we're going to see announced for new products and/or goodies:

- iPhone HD/iPhone 4: 100% certain. We know what it looks like, we know most of the technical details, and we know it has a front-facing camera. We can assume it has a variant of the iPad's CPU, and likely has a little more battery life. What we don't know is how much RAM it has and how much storage. I predict either 256MB or (more likely) 512MB, and it will have 32 and 64GB variants. Maybe a 16GB version (or they keep the 3GS and move it downmarket like they did last year with the 3G). It'll be in white and black, and is an incremental improvement with a new form factor after 2 years of the previous version.

- iPhone OS 4.0: Yep, it'll be shipping. I suspect GM is available at WWDC with the handful of surprise features that they were withholding from the betas and just playing with internally. Ship date will be approximately 2 days before the iPhone is available to minimize the hit on activation servers.

- Minor CPU announcements: I'd say about 75% likely. If there are any, it'll probably just be for the Mac Pro and/or Xserve at WWDC. Mac mini updates will be soon thereafter.

- Additional hardware announcements: 25% chance at best. I know folks keep talking about 27" Cinema Displays but that's really a minor thing and not Stevenote-worthy. I think a likelier thing would be a 30" Cinema Display that's been modernized to add an iSight, mini DisplayPort, and a MagSafe connector. But that won't be at WWDC either.

- iPhone OS 4.1: 90% chance. This is a given - they've already preannounced it as coming in the fall for both iPad and iPhone. Now they'll tell us what other bells and whistles are there besides Unity. My prediction: basic printing support and AFP server access. Outside chance of SMB server access.

- Improvements to MobileMe/cloud services in MacOS and iPhone OS: Yep, that's coming. I'm expecting that MobileMe basic (device sync and a few goodies) will be free, and serious storage will be an added cost like the whole service is now. I also think gets rolled into it somehow.

- MacOS 10.6.4: Probably this week for release, but not an announcement. It will support a couple of the new things announced Monday.

- MacOS 10.7: 50% chance at best. I think they won't heavily discuss it but may mention it by name and show off something whizzy. But I think next years' WWDC will be all about 10.7 with iPhone bringing up the rear.