This is our last chance to compare notes before Apple unleashes a new iPhone. New iPhone?
Yes, I’m 100-percent certain Apple will introduce a new iPhone today. After that, it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s next.
Twice a year we get to speculate on the latest and greatest from Apple. Macworld in January, and Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in the summer (OK, it’s officially still spring).
In recent years Macworld hasn’t been so much about the Mac as it has been other Apple products. Even Apple’s WWDC, long the domain of Mac software developers, takes on new territory—OS X. Not Mac OS X, but the OS X in iPhone and iPod touch and future handheld devices from Apple.
At the top of our prognostication list for WWDC 2008 is a new, second generation iPhone, capable of running on high speed 3G networks. Apple plans to launch the new iPhone in dozens of countries world wide before the end of the year.
This newer, better, smaller, faster, cooler iPhone will come with an updated version of OS X and a host of new features. What features? Let the Speculation Games begin.
Our future Mac in your pocket should be smaller, sync better with other services, and perhaps, thanks to cell phone company subsidies, cost less than the original. Mac360’s expert prognosticators, who often boast a 50-50 record for predictions, except when it’s worse, expect the following:
3G capable. AT&T’s higher speed network has rolled out to most larger us markets and Apple’s iPhone buyers will get a new phone which increases download and browsing speed dramatically.
Sub $300? No. Subsidized by AT&T and other cell phone carriers? Yes.
What else? Focus of the WWDC is usually software and the iPhone is about to become a home to tens of thousands of software developers writing applications and utilities for a market that may exceed the total Mac market in the next year or two—perhaps as many as 20-million to 40-million customers.
We expect iChat to become cross platform, thanks to the iPhone, though don’t expect iChat to work on a cell phone network, limiting audio and video connections to WiFi access only.
Stepping out on a limb, we fully expect Apple to introduce a new iPod touch to match the features of the new iPhone, sans cell phone capability. Expect more flash memory, too—up to 32 gigabytes for the iPhone, perhaps more for the iPod touch.
OK, those are no brainers. How about something really unexpected? How about a lower cost iPhone? We’ve read the speculation elsewhere but do not expect too many model differentiations except for storage capacity.
How about our beloved iPad, a larger handheld device running OS X? Yes, a thousand times yes. That will be the surprise of WWDC 2008.
How about games? The iPhone and iPod touch make for a nice, albeit expensive gaming platform, right? Back to the low-end iPhone or iPod touch. A smaller device with fewer software features sounds reasonable, but would Apple cripple a device just for games?
That’s not likely, adding further to the argument of lower prices for both the iPhone and iPod touch, perhaps models with different colors, ala the iPod nano.
What else? The list of wants is nearly endless. Apple may introduce the timeline for OS X 10.6, perhaps some kind of ‘cat’ beyond Leopard. Snow leopard, anyone?
There is no question that Apple with demonstrate some 3rd party applications and utilities for the new generation iPhone, show off GPS capability beyond the lame location finder in the current iPhone software.
How about Mac OS X for non-Mac PCs? Don’t count on it. OS market share is not so important to Apple as revenue and profits, both of which are doing great with the current Mac line.
When does Apple finally dump continued support for the PowerPC Macs, G5’s, G4’s, from IBM, Motorola, and friends? OS X 10.6 would be a good time to make the change.
As much as we’d like to see a new MacBook line, MacBook Pro models, or even a new .Mac the focus of the 2008 WWDC is OS X, and applications and utilities centered around the iPhone and handheld devices.
To that end, don’t expect new Cinema Displays to cloud the presentation picture. WWDC isn’t just about Mac software anymore. Apple is on the verge of creating a software market that will quickly exceed the total Mac market and will sell more iPhones and iPod touch devices than Macs this year.
The show and factual reality is just hours away. In the meantime, do your best to list your expectations, wants, desires, and needs in the Comments section below.