yellow bits

Jun 8 2009

WWDC predictions

Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference is today at 10 a.m. PST.  There’s always a slew of Apple rumors before the show.  Most of them aren’t rumors as much as “Duh”, of course they’re going to do that.  Others are just outrageous.  So here are my predictions

Stuff that will happen

  • Release date for Mac OS X Snow Leopard.  I’m guessing the end of September.
  • Lower price for the Snow Leopard update.  I’m guessing $50 bucks or something like that.  There aren’t many new features, so it’s hard to ask someone for $130 for the new OS.  I would be extra happy if they said $30 or even $20 bucks, but I doubt that will happen.  Apple likes to make everyone believe their products are premium.  Those of us too cheap to pay for it will download it off BitTorrent.  Apple has never been too harsh on people who do that compared to Microsoft’s Genuine Advantage crap.
  • Release date for the 3rd generation iPhone, probably July 17th, like all the other rumors.
  • More iPhone OS 3.0 details, but nothing super dramatic, I suspect.  Just what we saw earlier this year.  Probably the biggest addition will be the compass and the video recording.
  • I suspect there’s going to be a $150 8GB iPhone, $200 16GB iPhone and a $300 32GB iPhone.
  • Improved speed and probably slight increases in battery time, but I doubt anything dramatic.
  • iPhone tethering for an extra price.

Stuff that won’t happen

  • No netbooks - Apple would rather make a couple hundred bucks off selling one MacBook, rather than twenty bucks off selling one netbook.  Even though they would sell a bunch more, I doubt it makes up the difference.
  • No OLED - Just still way too expensive. I bet Microsoft loses a ton of money off each Zune HD it will sell.  Who cares though?  Microsoft has got a couple of billion in the bank.
  • No new iPod touch, until September.
  • No new Macs.  Possibly a speed bump to the iMacs or the Mac Pros, but I think it won’t be announced, just on the website.
  • No multi-tasking on iPhone OS 3.0.  Eats up too much battery life.  Notifications will likely not such a big deal.
  • No Apple tablet.  Save that for next year when the economy picks up and people might consider an over-sized iPod touch for $500 - $800 bucks.

Stuff that I wish would happen

  • An AppleTV that integrates Hulu, TV.com and has a built-in DVR.
  • A single background app on the iPhone.  All I really care about is listening to Pandora or Last.fm will writing an e-mail.  Anything else can be easily done with notifications or saving the previous state, so it makes it easy to switch from one app to the next.
  • Multi-touch support for Mac OS X through a dedicated/modified GUI.  It’s a pipe-dream.  I suspect some sort of limited built-in Multi-touch support in the OS, but won’t be revealed until Apple releases a Multi-touch laptop.
  • A slider version of the iPhone.  I honestly think this might happen at next year’s WWDC.
  • Apple announces that the new iPhone will have a new data plan that includes unlimited text messages.  This should be a pretty big blow to the Pre.  Depends on how badly Apple and AT&T want to hurt Sprint and Palm.  I give it a 50% chance.
  • The new “Marble” interface.  50% chance, or maybe Marble really isn’t that dramatic.  Maybe it’s just a polish of the “Unified” theme.  I do suspect some polish to the UI.  I just really want new folder icons.  I can’t tell what is what with the current OS X folder icons.
  • The return of Steve Jobs. 66% chance that the “One more thing…” this year will be Steve introducing something bad-ass.

UPDATED: I also doubt there will be Flash support.  It EATS up CPU cycles.  I don’t really see a need for Flash any more after TV.com, YouTube and Hulu have released iPhone apps.  Otherwise, I’m not trying to browse most Flash-enabled websites on a 3.5”-screen.