31 May 2008

WWDC '08: Steve Jobs Keynote Predictions

It's that time again. I'll be putting all my ideas as to the content of the opening keynote address of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference - to be delivered once again by Steve Jobs, Apple CEO - in this post.

First, Steve will unveil iPhone 2G, which will - humorously enough - be primarily about adding 3G cellular technology. It'll also add GPS and I expect Apple will double the offered capacities from 8/16GB to 16/32GB.

Update: Rumoured pricing (UK) has the iPhone selling subsidised on contracts from as little as free, up through £100. Macworld UK is suggesting the phone will sell unsubsidised on a Pay/Go tariff at the current £269/£329 price points (16GB/32GB or 8GB/16GB).

Rampant internet speculation based on "leaked" shots of the new iPhone's body (Tellingly, no shots exist with the electronics inside the shell) suggests the new iPhone will sport a plastic, glossy rear. I tend to follow more recent and more reliable suggestions that the 3G iPhone will match the existing model in general design and material choice, though it's size may have marginally update: decreased.

On a purely speculative basis, the approximate existing iPhone guts may continue to be offered in these new plastic shells as an iPhone with the nano suffix or something (I speculate iPhone white and iPhone black) - a more budget oriented iPhone.

From there, Steve will move on to the software powering iPhone 2nd Gen and iPhone black/white - as well as existing iPhones and iPod touches. Major update: that OS is now called OS X iPhone. Expect this section to give details on the AppStore as well as new software features. Highly unlikely Steve will go back over the SDK itself, more on that will follow in the sessions.

Expect Steve to announce launch apps including some of those we've already seen.

Finally, Steve will One More Thing .Mac. Update: Expect revamp of look and feel - the web interface I mean - in line with the recent .Mac Mail revamp, expect some more cross-platform uses, possibly a free version, possible capacity bumps and finally, expect integration with OS X iPhone. What form this final integration will take is debatable, likely it is syncing of and access to data - I'm sure you can imagine what forms this will take.

Unclear placement on this next stuff, but from what we see, it is worth mentioning. Mac OS X Leopard has been rechristened OS X Leopard, in line with the new name for iPhone OS, OS X iPhone. This probably means Apple will outline the differences and similarities going forward.

Rumours have suggested Apple may seed an OS X Snow Leopard (Technically, 10.6 under these rumours though I speculate even under that theory, Apple is dropping the 10.x.x numbering scheme in favour of OS X Name Version x.x, or even OS X Leopard Version x.x), an update in the same vein as OS X 10.1 back in the day - focusing on security, stability, general fixes and so on. Additionally, the release is said to drop PPC support and remove or de-emphasise Carbon.

I speculate these rumours are either correct and OS X Snow Leopard is the codename for the first update to OS X Leopard under a new naming
system and release schedule/system or they are referring to a third OS X.

OS X touch would be a hybrid of OS X Leopard and OS X iPhone, combinging the mobile platform's stouch control roots with more of the raw power of the flagship OS for what I am calling iNewton, but you might call Mac touch. Yes, the Mac Tablet. I speculate Apple will reveal the iNewton and its OS X touch OS here, preparing developers for it by talking about it in sessions & the keynote and also seeding a developers' preview ready for a full unveiling and release details/release this comign January. This version would remove Carbon entirely as speculated.

That said, if Snow Leopard is, as others believe, an OS X Mac (As I am now calling the flagship OS as a line in light of the new naming scheme for the OS X iPhone line - to that end Apple would be advised to give individual OS X iPhone releases small mammal names) release, named OS X Snow Leopard, Is till believe it will include pervasive Multi-Touch based on the OS X iPhone line and be destined to power an iNewton ebcase of this. This versio would include the Carbon tools, but Apple's own aps would all move to Cocoa/Cocoa touch.

As for the Mac mini's belated updated, the predictions I initially posted with regards to the update itself remain unchanged, but I now speculate it may occur at WWDC after all. Rumours suggest Apple wished to unveil new MacBooks at WWDC but has been forced to delay by Intel. I speculate Apple will move the MacBook updates to last year's consumer desktop update timeframe (August) in a straight swap with this year's due desktop updates (Mac mini and Mac Pro).

To put it simply, I think Apple was planning to update the MacBooks here and the Macs Pro and mini in August and may now be doing them the other way around.

It remains possible both lines will go without updates.

Courtesy of TUAW we now have reason to believe the Mac mini could well be EOL'd today, replaced by a similar product using (As speculated previous) an enclosure similar to AppleTV and Time Capsule/Airport Extreme Base Station. No word on pricing, but it would sport an optical drive and be pitched heavily as a new developer's tool.This make sense thanks to the influx of new Apple developers owing to the OS X iPhone SDK - since iPhone apps are made on Macs, Apple needs a new, affordable Mac to be available so they can get making them apps fast and cheap.

Treat this with a grain of salt. I imagine TUAW's images, whilst they may be based o a real product Apple is conceiving (Since it makes a whole lot of sense), are faked.

No comments: