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.
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.
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.