Thoughts on the WWDC Keynote

| Editorial

There are things we’d probably like Mr. Jobs to discuss in his keynote, but won’t be considered. On the other hand, there are two things very likely to happen: a focus on business opportunities for iPhone OS developers and some hardware jazz, not Macintosh, to make up for iPhone 4G leaks.

Focus: A Business Proposition for Developers

Because, as Mr. Jobs has noted, this year’s WWDC has a focus on iPhone development, we can expect that most of the keynote will be all about how the iPhone and iPad platforms can help developers make money. Apple has done it’s part designing great hardware, now it’s time to remind developers, despite 200,000 apps already out there, that new iPhone hardware and a new data center will present developers with even more opportunities.

To that end, there will probably be some discussion about tools Apple has developed that will make the delivery of content via HTML5/CSS/Javascript easier and more profitable. It’s probably no accident that Apple’s new HTML5 showcase Webpage was activated today.

Just about everyone expects Apple to announce its Lala replacement, the so-called itunes.com that will provide a streaming music service in the Apple cloud. However, the details will be interesting. I think that while this isn’t a developer opportunity, the increased sales of iPods, iPhones and iPads will create a sense of expanded market opportunity for all developers. Soon Apple will be able to claim 100 million devices running iPhone OS.

Hardware

Apple has shown a tendency to announce new Mac hardware whenever and wherever it chooses. So I don’t expect to see anything about new Mac minis, despite constrained supplies, or even new MacBook Airs. While, I’d love to see a next generation MacBook Air announced, that and the Mac mini can easily be slip streamed in to the product line later in June or July. This WWDC is an iPhone OS event.

I have much more faith in the Gizmodo rumor regarding a new Apple TV than I do for, say, a new Mac mini with HDMI. It just makes sense for Apple to make a bold move in the home theater market, especially in light of Google’s ambitions with Google TV. If Steve Jobs feels under the gun to do something stunning and unexpected, many of those WWDC sessions marked “to be announced” could be earmarked for development on the next generation Apple TV, a rumor, running iPhone OS 4.

Here would be yet another business opportunity for iPhone OS developers.

Imagine such a device connected to your HDTV via HDMI and controlled by an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad via Wi-Fi. Imagine it running the ABC player and Netflix. (And maybe Hulu.) Imagine the horror as the network executives realize that this device competes with the the traditional delivery of content via cable and satellite. Unless, of course, Apple has paved with way with a suitable business proposition. If we see nothing about a new Apple TV, we’ll know Apple still hasn’t worked out the politics of all this.

That said, the Networks and Hollywood have chosen to distribute content in so many fragmented ways already, throwing out yet another, acknowledging Apple’s track record for success, wouldn’t be a bad idea. Apple is unlikely to dominate the home theater market as it has with music, so why not make some more money?

The work of getting both the new hardware, the software, the data center and the politics all worked out could be what led to the delays this year in everything related to WWDC.

iPhone 4G: Self Deception?

Finally, we come to the iPhone, 4th generation. What surprises could be in store there? Did Gizmodo get its hands on the real, final prototype? We don’t really know for sure what the final iPhone will look like, or its final feature set, and we’ve spent a lot time thinking we know. So we’re likely set up for a surprise.

Verizon recently stated that they’re not getting the iPhone in the “immediate future.” Of course, I haven’t heard anything from Sprint to that effect, and I’ll reiterate my prediction that something will be said in the keynote about the iPhone coming to a new U.S. carrier — eventually.

I’ve told you more than I know, but it’s fun to think about these things ahead of time. I’m not trying to make solid predictions here, rather, simply share some thoughts that might provide insights into what happens during the WWDC keynote on Monday. TMO will, of course, have complete onsite, live coverage.

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Comments

Peter

Hm…Apps for your TV.  Two more resolutions for App developers to deal with.

Gosh, it’s getting fragmented around here.

Mike Weasner

I’ll say it again, Internet-based TV won’t be universally accepted until everyone has really fast access.  I’m stuck with 1.5mbps DSL.  Lots of places in the USA don’t have high-speed cable or fiber optic connections.  And probably won’t for the next 10-15 years, at a minimum.  Of course, Apple could develop some insanely great compression algorithm that presents great HD video at 1.5mbps, but I doubt it.  I used to be on cable but it had all kinds of compression artifacts on HD TV.  When I moved I had to switch to satellite TV (no cable company here).  Hey, no more compression artifacts on the HD TV.  OK, so I’m convinced that satellite HD TV is way better than cable HD TV.  Unfortunately, there is no cost-effective satellite Internet access with speeds significantly greater than 1.5mbps.  So, no Internet TV for me (and probably millions of other people).

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Animated preview of Jobs’ keynote. Enjoy!

KitsuneStudios

Ok, weird hope here, but what the hell:

Integrated stereo-3d APIs for OpenGL and Quicktime.

nVidea already has a 3d kit available for PCs, which turns most 3d video games into stereoscopic 3d presentations with the use of peripheral glasses. Playing World of Warcraft on a friend’s PC with his stereo rig was incredible. Adding that functionality to programs like Blender and Maya for 3d animation would be excellent, especially when trying to figure out which line is in front of which in a 3d mesh.

This would also allow Apple to start selling 3d films through the iTMS. Pixar is already on the Digital 3d bandwagon with “Up!”, it would make a lot of sense to start showing off those 3d movies on the home system, without having to buy a dedicated Blue-ray player and compatible monitor. It could also allow AppleTV devices to compete with that new market segment.

Of course, the whole thing is optional, so those who dislike or can’t tolerate the 3D effect can always turn the effect on or off at will.

Garion

Sorry, John, but to think that Apple will say anything about new carriers before it actually happens is disengenius. It would be shooting themselves in the foot, so long as the iPhone is AT&T only. If they announced that “yeah, the iPhone will be availabe on a better carrier in three months time”, they would effectively KILL sales of the iPhone on the one carrier it is avalable on untill then, AT&T. No such thing will happen. Apple is smarter than that.

AT&T will be given at least a three month exclusive, maybe even six months, on the new iPhone before a new US carrier will be allowed to join the iPhone party.

Extensor

Hm?Apps for your TV.  Two more resolutions for App developers to deal with.

Gosh, it?s getting fragmented around here.

i know you are just kidding but for those who might think you are serious…
Fragmentation has to do with various feature differences that make apps work. Like an app requiring a hardware keyboard for example. Different screen sizes are handled by the OS and create no functional difference.

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