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WWDC 2010: Rumor Roundup

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If you’re a self-proclaimed MacHead like me, then you are well aware and consequently excited that the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is less than a week away. As the premier technical conference for developers innovating with Apple technologies, it is also the venue for most product announcements for the world’s largest technology company.

Geek or not, we all know that Apple is notorious for closely guarding secrets pertaining to new products and services. Due to Apple’s inherent secrecy, many bloggers, writers and geeks all over the world take it upon themselves to search deep for clues hinting at the next revolutionary product from Steve Jobs. Before long, the Internet is saturated with bits and pieces of rumored info about upcoming products from Apple leaving consumers dazed and confused.

CurrentMarketing has long been a supporter of Apple and the MacOS, In fact, our CTO Anthony Bouvier will be making the long journey to San Francisco next week to WWDC to learn how to implement some of Apple’s latest technologies for our clients. As a life long Mac users and a former Apple employee, I thought it might be best to sort through the countless rumors online and make my own predictions for WWDC 2010. Feel free to leave a comment after the official announcements are made on June 7.

•    4th Generation iPhone. Go ahead and break open your penny bank because this is one rumor that might as well be considered fact. Although the name of the next iPhone is still uncertain, its existence is certain ever since the next generation iPhone was misplaced by one of Apple’s software engineers. In fact, cases for the next generation iPhone are already popping up online. Rumored features of the next generation phone are to include a higher resolution display, front-facing video camera as well as a new housing design. The phone is also supposed to carry Apple’s new A4 processor, which made its initial debut inside the iPad earlier this year. I also expect to hear that the new iPhone will have improved battery life as well as higher flash storage capacities. Outside the features of the new device, the bigger announcements will be made in regards to service. I truly believe Apple will open its revolutionary device to other carriers beginning this fall. Which carrier will get it? Some say Verizon, others look to Sprint. I say both. That being said, however, I predict that AT&T will remain the cheapest service producer of the three. Although not a rumor, don’t forget that the next generation iPhone will be running the newest mobile operating system from Apple-iPhone OS 4.0, which was announced earlier this year as a free update for all current iPhone 3G and 3GS customers.

•    Another prediction I have is a major update to Apple TV in the coming months. Some say it make its debut at WWDC, I doubt that it will, but I will keep my fingers crossed nonetheless. This product might be hinted upon at WWDC, but will not be announced until this fall, which is the traditional season for iPod updates. According to bloggers, the revamped Apple TV hardware will resemble the next generation iPhone and rely on cloud storage instead of a local hard drive like the current generation of the product. More than likely, this change to the Apple TV will include a subscription based model, like Mobile Me. I strongly believe the Apple TV service will become a part of the Mobile Me package. Others rumor surrounding the new Apple TV includes full 1080p HD support as well as the ability to sync with Time Capsule for extra local storage. Most interesting, however, is that there has been a lot of chatter that the Apple TV will actually run the iPhone OS, which begs the question if users will have access to apps as well as a full Internet browser straight from their Apple TV. All we can do is wait and see, but don’t get too upset if you don’t see this at WWDC, but rest assured its coming soon.

•     iTunes.com? Yep, that’s right. I believe Apple is nearing completion of a subscription based music service. Where’s the evidence you ask? Well, Apple recently acquired and then closed down online music provider Lala.com on May 31, 2010, which is just in time for WWDC. According to the latest buzz, this cloud-based version of ITunes would allow users to upload their media collections to Apple and then stream music, movies and podcasts to other devices. By doing so, users no longer have to locally sync data. Although this new product and service seems useful and logical, it also has the most legal red tape. I believe that iTunes.com will either become apart of or an add on for Apple’s existing cloud-based data service Mobile Me. The chances of this product going live during WWDC are slim, but Apple often announces new products with release dates forthcoming.  I don’t know how you feel, but I am very excited about the possibility of a cloud-based iTunes as it solves the headaches brought on by synching all my Apple devices all while saving precious hard drive space.

•    What about Mac? Remember Apple makes computers too. And with WWDC just around the corner, many speculate that Apple may make some long needed updates to its line of Macintosh computers. I believe the two machines most likely to receive a refresh include the MacBook Air as well as the Mac Pro. Both of these models are long overdue for an update and WWDC seems like a likely venue to bring them up to speed with the rest of the Mac line of personal computers. It is quite possible that the announcement of these updates could come during WWDC, but the products will not be ready for purchase until late June. As far as the specifications of the update, anyone’s guess is as good as mine. But, I believe the update for the MacBook Air might be a big one making this ultra portable computer much more powerful and affordable.

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