Handicapping the potential WWDC '13 announcements

Summary:Here's a list of what Apple could announce at WWDC on Monday and the odds of each becoming a reality.

Handicapping the WWDC '13 announcements - Jason O'Grady

Let's review some of the items that Apple could announce at WWDC on Monday in San Francisco. Below are each of the major possibilities and my estimation of the liklihood that it will be announced next week.

iOS 7 (100%) – Apple's announced major iOS releases at the last three WWDC conferences and 2013 won't break that pattern. iOS 7 has been spotted in server logs and Apple needs to release a major update to iOS to stay competitive with the increasingly competitive Android, Windows Phone and even the upstart Blackberry 10.

OS X 10.9 (100%) – While we might not know the name of Apple's next cat (my bet's on "Ocelot"), you can expect it to pounce at WWDC 2013. Like iOS, Apple has a history of previewing the next major OS X version at its developer conference (except for a hiatus at 2010) and the timing is right. 

iRadio (75%) – Apple is late to the already crowded music subscription party and it needs to put a horse in the race before Spotify, Rdio and Google run away with it. (Heck, even Twitter released a dark horse music service this year.) Apple pioneered digital music commerce and singlehanded rescued an industry from a death spiral, but Steve Jobs' stubborn insistence that people want to own their music put the company at a huge disadvantage. Apple might not have all of its label agreements in place by Monday but that hasn't stopped it before. Apple announced digital music, TV, movie and book services before it had all the major players on board and music subscriptions won't be any different. 

MacBooks (75%) – Intel just released new Haswell processors that are destined for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air and they haven't been updated in 360 days, so they're definitely due for a refresh. Leaked model numbers all but confirm Apple notebook updates at WWDC. Rumors suggest that the MacBook Pro could get a slimmer case and faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi looks likely. Just don't expect a Retina MacBook Air just yet. 

Mac Pro (25%) – After a three year dry spell, Apple's professional Mac tower is easily the product most "due" for an upgrade. Apple uncharacteristically confirmed a redesigned Mac Pro for "later" in 2013, but June still leaves a half a year on the calendar. While WWDC would be a good audience of power users to announce the Mac Pro to, Intel's Ivy Bridge E processors aren't due until September, so it's a little too soon.

iWatch (10%) – Although there have been a flurry of rumors swirling around Apple's wrist-computer, the timing isn't right for iWatch. Even though Tim Cook finds wearables "incredibly interesting" and Apple has filed for a trademark on the term "iWatch," the hardware isn't ready for prime time. Some point to the wildly successful Pebble Kickstarter project as validation of the space, but it's only half-baked . While it's the product I most want to see at WWDC, Apple's entry into the wearable computing space isn't likely to debut on Monday. iWatch is a holiday-quarter product if there ever was one. 

iWork (10%) – iWork received its last major update in 2009, so it's more than due for a refresh. Apple's been hiring iWork engineers since February but I'm not convinced that they're working on the OS X version (the iOS apps get the lion's share of updates). Color me skeptical on iWork. 

So there you have my WWDC 2013 odds and predictions. Time to pull up a chair and see what unfolds on Monday.

What are your WWDC dreams and aspirations?

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iOS, Software, Software Development

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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