I rarely wish a weekend to go by fast, but with WWDC coming this Monday, I can't help it. I honestly can't say I'm that excited about the new iPhone/iPhone 3.0 software, the former because I just bought a 3G three months ago (when my iPhone Classic died, sniff) and thus won't buy one no matter what it has, and the latter since I've had the 3.0 beta on for a while now, and with the beta finally being solid, I no longer pine for the finished version. I am, however, very excited about some news regarding OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Specifically, when will it be released, what's the price point, and for Steve Job's sake I hope there's more features then Exchange 2007 support and 16TB of RAM that no will be able to use for the next decade or so. Quicktime X looks sounds cool but I don't think it's worth an OS upgrade. Multitouch features, perhaps? If they don't have something decent that we don't know about I think it's going to be hard to get people to fork over $129.00, given the economy and what not. If they're charging for it, then there's no way I'm getting a Macbook until it Snow Leopard comes out, so then it will just be pre-installed. I'd hate to have to wait until September for it, though. Apple also needs to consider that Windows 7 is right around the corner and from what I'm reading on the blogosphere, it doesn't completely suck like Vista does. Apple needs to get this thing released sooner rather then later. People aren't dumb, and they're going to hold off on getting a new Mac since they know a new OS is coming. It's hurting sales, and despite the tremendous success of the iPhone and App Store, the Mac is still Cupertino's bread and butter. (Now maybe if the iPhone was available on all Verizon it would be a different story, but don't hold your breath).
So what are we going to find out come Monday at 10AM Pacific time? It's prediction time:
1. Snow Leopard will come out "sometime in the near future", but no firm release date so Apple can clear out OS X 10.5 Leopard inventory. I do expect the announced features (OpenCL, 16 TB RAM support, Grand Central, Quicktime OS X, Exchange 2007) and a few rumored ones (the aforementioned multitouch support and geographic awareness). I expect Apple to price it at $129 like before (you don't work on something for a year and give it away for free, least of all at Apple). I also expect lots of boring technical information thrown in (this is a DEVELOPER'S conference, after all) that will piss every blogger who is waiting for the new iPhone announcement.
2. iPhone Video. Yeah, that's what they're calling the new iPhone. Not exactly creative. Adding recording video isn't exactly new (my Treo 650 had it for God's sake) and if they are really adding the front facing camera for iChat, i hereby predict it will be the most under utilized feature in phone history. Much like nuclear powered cars, retiring at 40, soccer and the metric system becoming popular in the United States, and other myths we were lied to about growing up, video phone calls have not, and will not, EVER go mainstream. Not even in the business world for teleconferencing. It looks great on TV, but seriously, do you really want people to see what you're doing while you're on the phone? That's what I thought. The video editing app that should be cool and I suspect the built in YouTube/Facebook uploading will go over well. What won't go over well? The fact that it won't be available for iPhone Classic and 3G users. Apple will claim that only the iPhone Video's upgraded processor and RAM can handle these "radical" features, leaving previous iPhone owners out in the cold. Brrrr. A 32 GB model is nearly certain, but I'd be shocked at a $99 4GB version, and even more shocked if Verizon was announced as a future carrier, as rumored. Expect a release date of July 17th or so while Apple clears out the old 3Gs.
3. LOTS of iPhone App demos. Again, this is a DEVELOPER's conference, not a Macworld "Stevenote". Again, I expect the blogger s in attendance to be bored to tears about the latest and greatest apps that are coming out. Expect five or so demo videos, of which one, and at most two, will actually be interesting.
4. Steve Jobs will NOT appear, not even for a "One last thing" moment. Boo.
5. No iTablet either. Expect that announcement no earlier then September, if at all this year.