As tradition goes, here are my predictions:
- iPhone OS 3.0 Announced (100%) – Notice I said “announced” not released. Apple last released iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 on May 25th. I’m suspicious that they won’t just go from beta to final on developers over the course of 2 weeks. I’d expect some sort of release candidate to sit in between. I think we’ll get a solid date. I’d put the odds of a 3.0 official release being available at about 50%. “Public Beta”? It just seems odd for Apple to go from beta to release like that. Apple did release an iTunes upgrade featuring 3.0 compatibility. Mixed messages? Yea. But a GM release seems a little unlikely.
- iPhone v3 Announced (100%) – Apple will announce the iPhone 3rd Generation. Faster CPU, 50% chance of dual core or larger architectural change, better graphic capabilities, video support, more memory, more storage, same form factor. I think we can realistically see up to 32 GB capacity. Better (3MP+) camera. Battery life improvements will be minimal at best. The iPhone 3G sold well enough with its battery life making the pressing factor CPU performance. I’m also skeptical about radio as audio can be delivered somewhat low-bandwidth over EDGE or 3rd party FM adapter. Also radio/CD combos never really sold that well, and rarely were offered on mp3 players (notably never the iPhone).
- Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Announcement (85%) – Apple will announce the expected release date down to 1-2 month target for Snow Leopard, solid feature set, preview the latest version and provide new builds.
- Lots of demos (99%) – Apple seems to love to parade developers on stage to show off their apps. Expect to see tons of iPhone 3.0 apps, perhaps even some “look how much faster/better my app is on Snow Leopard” presentations.
- Steve Jobs Appearance (65%) or mention (90%) – Legend has it Steve is expected to return to Apple at the end of the month in full capacity. I fully expect him to appear in person before the media to prove he’s looking healthy. There is a decent shot he’ll make some sort of cameo appearance at WWDC 2009. It’s also possible he’ll demo something at a soon to be announced event for a hardware refresh in July/August. I think he’ll at least get a mention and official confirmation he’s coming back at the end of the month.
- iLife / some other software upgrade 60% – Apple likes to bundle upgrades to any of it’s less notable software products into larger announcements so that they get some media attention “also announced was…”, even if it’s a footnote. Because of that, I think there’s a notable chance they will announce some upgrade.
It’s mainly a software event, so I don’t expect any more hardware than iPhone 3.0. I think overall it won’t be as explosive as last year when App Store launched. Then again… Apple may have a trick or two up its sleeves. We’ll know Monday.