Apple's annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicks off today in San Francisco where Steve Jobs will give a demonstration of Mac OS 10.5 "Leopard." I posted a list of rumored Leopard features on the PowerPage on Friday. Leopard is due to be released at the end of 2006 or early 2007 according to Jobs' 2005 WWDC keynote address. In addition to demoing the sixth major revision to the Mac OS many are expecting Jobs to take the wraps off at least a couple of key hardware items.
Apple is expected to announce an updated desktop computer based on Intel's Core 2 Duo (a.k.a. Conroe) chip called the Mac Pro and possibly a new Xserve based on Intel's Dual Core Xeon (a.k.a. Woodcrest) processor. A new desktop and server would bring Apple's entire computer line over to the Intel platform.
Other possible new product announcements include:
MacBook Pro - Intel's next generation mobile chips (Core 2 Duo/"Merom") were recently announced and Apple has been sampling them for a while. WWDC seems a little soon to announce a Merom MacBook Pro (Apple still is working out bugs in the existing MBP logic board) but Merom's 4MB cache and cooler operating temperature would be perfect to differentiate it from the consumer MacBook.
iPhone - Probably the worst kept secret and most predicted new product in Apple's history. iPhone is the mythical hybrid iPod/mobile phone that Apple has rumored to be developing almost since the launch of the original iPod. Apple won't release a phone until it's perfect and I don't think that they're ready.
iPod - The most anticipated Apple product is anything that begins with the word "iPod." iPod nano is expected to get a bump to 8GB soon and maybe even a new aluminum or magnesium enclosure. A entirely new 6G "true video" iPod isn't as likely to be announced today, I think that it's more of a Fall/holiday item.
Cinema Display - Apple's monitors are due for a refresh, Cinema Displays are getting killed by Dell's higher contrast ratios and lower prices. iSight cameras are already built into MacBooks and iMacs so it's pretty natural for Apple to migrate them into displays. Expect the new displays to have extra USB ports and possibly a Firewire hub and/or a card reader built in.
Mac mini - The diminutive Mac mini could get a bump to 1.66GHz Core Solo or 1.86GHz Core Duo, but after the Mac Pro and Xserves would anyone care.
Tune in to The Apple Core later today for updates from WWDC.