Apple’s 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off Monday, and there’ll be a keynote at 10 am (Pacific). I’m expecting a big ol’ gang of Apple execs to be on hand for the party. So what will they be celebrating?
“9to5Mac” (http://www.9to5Mac.com) says that, in a first, Apple will update four of their five Mac lines. They’re probably right. I think we’ll see refreshes of the iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and, yes, the Mac Pro. (Sorry, Mac mini, you’ll have to wait).
Per my crystal ball, the iMac, MacBook Pro lines and MacBook Air will all get Retina displays. There have been reports that the 13-inch MacBook Pro won’t get a Retina Display. I’m going out on a limb here and taking it one step further: I think both the 13-inch and the 17-inch MacBook Pro models will vanish. My guess: Apple’s laptop line will include 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs and 15-inch MacBook Pros in a variety of configurations.
At one point, I was sure that Apple would never add USB 3.0 support for the Mac, considering Thunderbolt at the future of connectivity. I still think that’s the case, but I now think that the new Macs will have USB 3.0 ports. Apple probably feels this is a good stop-gap measure until Thunderbolt is ubiquitous. Oh yes, and the Mac Pro will at long last get Thunderbolt ports. Naturally, all the upgrades will sport faster processors (of the Ivy Bridge variety) and beefier graphics.
What else? All the new laptops and the iMac (but not the Mac Pro) will dump the optical drive. Want to use a CD or DVD with your new Mac? You’ll have to buy the external, US$79 SuperDrive.
New Cinema Displays with Retina displays will probably also be rolled out, as will new AirPort Expresses and Time Machines. That will be all the hardware announcements. No new iPhone or iPad mini will be introduced next week.
However, iOS 6 will be premiered (along with, of course, new info and a release date for Mountain Lion). That update will: introduce Siri to the iPad; implement Facebook integration; and add Apple mapping technology that will replace Google apps.
By the way, don’t look for an Apple-branded HDTV to appear. HOWEVER, I think “BGR” (http://macte.ch/QWWR1) is right in that Apple will demonstrate a brand new version of the Apple TV operating system. That OS will offer a peak at what we can expect when the iTV actually appears (probably in time for Christmas).
Am I right? Wrong? Probably a mixture of both. Come back Monday and we’ll see.
— Dennis Sellers