with WWDC ’11 coming up on Monday and Steve Jobs already committed to giving the keynote speech, the question is, “so what will he announce?”
Apple has uncharacteristically already revealed iCloud during a statement earlier in the week detailing the conference’s focus on iOS5, Mac OS X Lion, and the aforementioned cloud service that many have speculated as being the obvious successor to MobileMe with some form of music storage and streaming. it is also widely assumed there will be no iPhone hardware announcement considering the recent late release of the white iPhone and the iPhone on Verizon.
however, some are speculating the MacBook Air will receive an update to the sandybridge core processors from intel, which is sort of obvious considering intel’s timeline featuring ULV versions of their latest CPU that meet the MacBook Air’s voltage spec coming soon.
what some have finally noticed is the thinning of inventory at AT&T for the iPhone 4. obviously there will be an iPhone release, which goes against all of the popular speculation saying September. I’ll say this now: there will be an iPhone announced as a “one more thing” type of deal. it will be an iterative upgrade, an iPhone 4S, if you will. it will feature the new A5 dual core processor and upgraded graphics lifted directly from the iPad 2 and also have a memory spec bump to 64GB. last but not least, it will be a true “pentaband” unit with support for T-Mobile USA’s AWS 3G band (Band IV) now that AT&T’s exclusivity is gone and Verizon having a non-exclusive deal.
why will there be an iPhone 4S despite the recent release of iPhone 4 models? it will be designed to coincide with specific features in the new iOS 5 launch that will require at minimum the A4 CPU, but will run best with the extra horsepower of the A5 chip, and thus be fully compatible with the iPhone 4S and the current iPad. this will be akin to the release of iOS 3 with the iPhone 3GS.
as for speculation on the Time Capsule and AirPort solutions, these will be silent refreshes that support new features within Lion, which has an extensive self-repair capability built-in, using a secondary repair partition that holds a complete copy of the OS installer. this and expanded time capsule backup features will utilize some new hardware and software features built into the next generation of wireless devices. they will also feature a more robust “back to my Mac” feature that will allow access to your usb network connected drives while on the go, combining the system with features like pogoplug, giving users free access to their home network drives and computers while on the road to stream movies and access data. the current Back To My Mac system offers this but only with a MobileMe subscription, that as you know will be superseded by iCloud.
so I highly doubt the Time Capsule will be getting an A5 CPU and the ability to run apps and work like an Apple TV… as that would only cannibalize sales and make it redundant. that’s never been Apple’s style as they’ll gladly sell you two devices instead of one integrated solution. anyone who has been speculating this is an idiot.
as for iOS, expect a type of active widget system… mini apps that only Apple will produce since it will require hooks into the system that Apple doesn’t currently allow devs to access, and a revamped notification system pulled right from Cydia. they recently purchased a dev and I doubt it was for him to work on iOS 6… he was probably bought to quickly integrate and clean up what’s available now for immediate release, having copied his work over the past year and hiring him recently to make it’s inclusion 100% legit.
in regard to Lion, it’s an open beta… there’s nothing to speculate on there other than the types of wallpapers and screensavers the RTM version will include.
so that’s my predictions in a rather large nutshell. hope you enjoy the keynote.