Apple Inc’s (AAPL) WWDC event kicks off on Monday and both investors and techies alike will be watching closely. The event lasts the entire week from June 10-June 14, but all eyes will be on Monday’s keynote address.
Investors would be thrilled if Apple released a new game-changing gadget like an iWatch or iTV, but a major release of such proportion is off the table until fall or 2014. Instead, Apple will focus on iPhone and Mac software, as well as some minor upgrades to existing products.
iOS 7: Tech insiders are expecting iOS 7 to look and feel entirely different than the iPhone’s current operating system. With a few exceptions such the customizable background and fifth row of apps, the iOS has aesthetically changed very little over the years. Jony Ive, Apple’s chief designer, will likely announce some major aesthetic adjustments to keep iOS looking fresh.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple could also release a non-WiFi version of Airdrop, new ways to multi-task, more touch gestures, and in-car Siri integration, among others. Car integration is definitely an exciting prospect, as the automobile industry is a relatively new frontier for tech companies. This feature would allow drivers to get directions, obtain information, and send messages without taking their eyes off the road.
Mac OS X 10.9: Apple’s iPhone and iPad come enabled with Siri, so it makes logical sense that Apple’s new Mac operating system will also come equipped with the popular “intelligent personal assistant.”
Mac users can also expect some Jony Ive-inspired aesthetic adjustments to several apps. 9to5Mac also reported that 10.9 will offer tabs and multiple windows in Finder. Additionally, the new operating system will be more developer-friendly and conducive to third-party apps.
New Macs: The term “new” should be used loosely with WWDC, as upgrades will be fairly insignificant. The Macbook Air and possibly the Macbook Pro could get battery and processing upgrades. According to CNET, the Macbook Pro could get an upgraded camera for FaceTime. CNET also believes that Apple could release a new Mac Pro and a new Airport Express.
iRadio: Last and certainly not least, Apple is expected to release its Internet radio service. According to a CNET report on Friday, all three major record labels (Universal, Warner, and Sony) have reached deals with Apple, which means iRadio should be announced at WWDC. The service is expected to be free and contain advertisements.
Furthermore, iRadio could be available in Apple’s non-iOS devices. Apple has expressed interest in making Mac OS X more developer-friendly, which means that the iRadio could come ready for launch in Macs and Apple TV.
Investors will be paying closest attention to Apple’s iRadio announcement. If Apple can offer a better service than Pandora oe Spotify, iRadio could be a driving force behind iPhone sales in the near future.
Expectations are high for the Cupertino-based tech giant, as WWDC will mark Apple’s first event since October. Apple hasn’t released anything new since the iPad Mini, so investors are looking for some fresh sources of revenue.
However, Apple investors have expressed little excitement. Without a game-changing product on tap for release on Monday, shares are down 2.03 percent for the week to $440.62. Meanwhile, Pandora investors are not intimidated by iRadio, as shares soared 5.03 percent to $15.03 in trading on Friday.
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