WWDC14: Why No New Hardware Was Announced

| WWDC

There was plenty of expectation that Apple would inject some hardware excitement into the WWDC keynote, but it didn't happen. Apple has introduced hardware in the past at this event, but in this year's event, Apple had bigger fish to fry.

Tim Cook at WWDC keynote. Credit: Apple

First, when we look at Apple's traditional line of products, the dates of the last updates are as follows, from oldest to newest.

  • Mac mini - October 2012
  • Apple TV - March 2013
  • iMac - September 2013
  • MacBook Pro - October 2013
  • iPad Air - October 2013
  • iPad Mini/Retina - October 2013
  • Mac Pro - December 2013
  • MacBook Air - April 2014

Apple doesn't update the Mac mini on a frequent basis, and even if they did, it wouldn't be an exciting offering for this event.

The MacBook Air was just updated, and the price was reduced. This was a smart move because, while the MBA is an entry level product, it exudes quality as a notebook computer and competes effectively against a hybrid tablet like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. A retina display would have increased the price and undermined that strategy.

The Apple TV has gone for 15 months without a refresh, and that would be the best candidate for a refresh. However, WWDC, being a developer's conference, probably isn't the place for an incremental upgrade to a still very popular and capable product. Plus, Apple's interest in TV is a whole other story for another time.

Personally, I thought that it was time for Apple to introduce the fabled iWatch to developers with perhaps shipments announced for later in the fall. My colleague Bryan Chaffin called this right with his suggestion that there would be a separate event in the fall.

Clearly, with HomeKit being an iOS integration effort, there's no new hardware in the offing right now.

There were stunning new capabilities introduced for developers in both OS X "Yosemite" and iOS 8 that will bring great delight to Apple's customers. The TMO home page has all these stories. Apple has once again shown that it is brimming with confidence and isn't being influenced by outsiders when it comes to when and how it will introduce new hardware, especially at a developer's conference.

And yet. One more thing... is always welcome.

Comments

paikinho

It will be interesting to see how Apple gets shellacked in the media as having fallen down at their innovation job yet again. No iWatch? No Apple TV? No Automation hardware? No computer updates.

I predict a total beat down and Fail mark to be given.

That being said, I really loved the evolution of the iOS and OSX world. The developer stuff was really exciting. Loved metal. Loved the iCloud drive.

Now I wait on iTunes match for my movie collection.

vpndev

How ‘bout more space for iTunes Match for music? The limit is 25,000 currently and that’s a real pain. Since it’s much less than 5 GB, does the iCloud Drive allow more space for music? Please.

Michael Burke

“Apple doesn’t update the Mac mini on a frequent basis, and even if they did, it wouldn’t be an exciting offering for this event.”

Most of the developers that I know are waiting for a new Mac Mini.  The Pro cost too much for all but the biggest projects.  I don’t want a iMac as I am looking for a headless option.

The Mini has all the power needed to build heavy duty Mac and IO apps.  They are also great machines for building an automated test grid.  We need an updated Mac Mini.

vpndev

“Most of the developers that I know are waiting for a new Mac Mini.”

Amen to that. I switched a year ago from a Mac Pro to a Mini and it has been very good. I understand the place of the Mac Pro - and agree with having it - but it is not the machine for me.

What I really want is a super-Mini. And I bet I’m not alone. Apple would do well to start canvassing for specs for such a machine. I would buy one for certain, probably two.

Blissmonkey

This event would have been a great opportunity to introduce the iWatch, but that would have gutted the purpose of this year’s WWDC.

The two main problems if the iWatch were introduced would have been, a) WWDC 2014 is obviously a love note to developers, so extra emphasis is dedicated to their contribution to the company’s success (which is huge), and b) the iWatch would not only have overshadowed the developer love fest, but would have either extended the event by another full hour, or stripped down the event we got considerably.

So, in the end the developers get to enjoy the glow of Apple’s respectful nod to their participation in Apple’s overall success, and the iWatch gets its own event sometime down the line.

You can’t please all of the people all the time, but you can please them all in their own time.

nolatransplant

My personal feeling is that the, “One More Thing…” segment is officially retired from Apple keynotes. However, the Swift announcement was effectively provided that element - especially for that crowd.

estern53

I think we will get product announcements after the WWDC. Apple has done this in the past. As for the iWatch I think Samsung has already proved what a failure watch technology is. They can’t sell any of their stock of that awful watch. if Apple were to release one they will have thought things through.
I too am on the bandwagon for a super mac mini. I sold off my Mac Pro last year and the new model does not fit my budget. I’d love to see a mac mini with a 3.5GHz or higher i7 chip, quad core and 1GB video memory that would suit my purposes very well.

aardman

I think more than any keynote I’ve seen in the past, including those delivered by Steve Jobs, this one lays out where Apple is headed in the clearest and most comprehensive way.  Yes there was no hardware announcements, but the framework for hardware products for the coming years has been established.  There will be comprehensive integration of Apple’s devices and they will have the ability to delve into and impart order into almost every facet of the user’s life.  Health, entertainment, home life, work life, in the car, etc. -iOS and OSX will be all-encompassing (if the user allows it to be) and it will be as close as possible to the ubiquitous computing model that was shown in 2001 or Star Trek Next Gen.

And we know that Tim is right, only Apple can do the tight integration of platforms, apps and hardware that their ambition entails.  It will be exciting.

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