While iOS 6 beta and new MacBooks are a foregone conclusion for this year’s WWDC, the tech intelligentsia say nay to an iPhone 5 announcement. But enthusiasts are holding out hope. How will the WWDC go down? Will we have a “One More Thing” moment this year? Do you foresee another surprise hardware announcement for the WWDC other than the iPhone 5? Post your complete WWDC predictions here.
So, this is it — again. For the second year in a row, the WWDC has rolled around, and for the second time, there is some anticipation that the iPhone 5 could make a surprise announcement. Granted, you’re not likely to find many voices in the press raising that specter of possibility — remember: all those guys were burned last year, when there was decidedly more optimism and enthusiasm in the rumor mill that the iPhone 5 would be announced at WWDC 2011.
I guess that the second time around, nobody wants to get let down again. What a sorry, broken-hearted lot they are.
As we have laid out on this blog previously, there are plenty of pros and cons to the possibility of the iPhone 5 announcement at this year’s WWDC. Admittedly, the pros are a lot more capricious and driven by hope-filled and rumor-fueled flights of fancy, while the cons are based on stoic, sober, and conservative analyses. But what cannot be denied is this: these past few weeks leading up to the WWDC have been remarkably similar to the three weeks ahead of the iPad 3 announcement: with the iPad 3, we saw leaked parts that for the most part foreshadowed its release, and the rumored features all but came true.
We’ve seen a similar set of rumors and photos for the iPhone 5 recently. The only difference is that the sources who are releasing the photos and rumors are telling us “September” or “October.” If the photos of the new iPhone 5 parts are real, then it’s hard to reconcile such a long wait at this point — 3 or 4 months?
Because there are so many rumors and theories out there, I thought it would be fun to post an article here on the iPhone 5 News Blog today to serve as a forum for all of the readers and commenters of this blog to predict what we’re going to see at the WWDC come tomorrow. What will iOS 6 look like? Will we see the iPhone 5 after all? What do you expect from the new MacBooks? And if not an iPhone 5, could one of the other exciting, rumored Apple products get a surprise announcement? All of these questions are still floating around some 24 hours before the start of the conference.
For my part, this is my gut feeling: I think that iOS 6 is going to live up to its slogan of being the most advanced operating system in the world by featuring a radically improved Siri that is integrated throughout the mobile computing experience, together with Facebook, which I think is going to become Apple’s proxy social networking channel (in order to challenge Google’s integration of Google+ into Android).
I think that the new ivy bridge MacBooks will make good on the rumors that they will be faster and feature the new retina displays.
Finally, I do believe that we are going to see a surprise announcement of something at the WWDC this year. My logic? It’s this: it’s June — half of 2012 is set to be behind us (can you believe that?) — and Apple ostensibly still is set to release an iPhone 5, new iPod, iPad Mini, and iTV, all in this year. And the WWDC is Apple’s biggest event. I don’t see Cupertino blasting us with four brand-new devices between September and December of 2012 — they’ve always spaced their product launches apart.
Of that list above, I think the iPad Mini is least likely, since the last Apple product release was the iPad 3. Releasing the iPad Mini right on its heels would squash iPad 3 sales. And based on what we’ve heard about the iTV, it isn’t even in production yet. I see the iTV arriving near Christmas.
What’s left is the new iPod and iPhone 5. But seeing that all things iPod have traditionally been announced and released near the start of the new school year in September, I think Apple will stick to that release schedule. Also, if Apple announces the new iPod Touch at the WWDC and it shares the same form factor as the iPhone 5, then they will have given away what the iPhone 5 will look like.
This is how I get to the conclusion that — if you believe that something more will be announced at WWDC other than iOS 6 beta and the MacBooks — that the iPhone 5 makes sense: we’ve got photos, and it is iPhone season.
And if the iPhone 5 doesn’t show up at the WWDC, will I be disappointed? Not really. But if we see nothing ultra-exciting at the conference, other than a refreshed iOS 6 and some MacBooks, I will definitely be surprised. This year’s conference should be a slam-dunk for Tim Cook — let’s hope he delivers in the same way that Apple did when Steve Jobs was at the helm.