Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference always sells out, and lately in less than an hour. So today, when Apple announced the even will be held June 2 through June 6, instead of selling tickets immediately, potential attendees have to register for a lottery ticket. A limited number of developers will win the right to pay $1599 to attend the event.
I've attended a couple of WWDC events, when Steve Jobs was the big draw, and getting to see him in person was a thrill. Of course, Apple often uses the venue to announce new products or at least new versions of their operating systems. It's natural to expect one or more of the following at the show:
- iOS 8.0. This is a shoe-in, as the gathering is Apple's chance to evangelize and train the developers of the next generation of apps. The next set of Apple products should introduce new technologies and screen sizes, and Apple will need apps that leverage these features.
- Apple TV. Amazon and Google are innovating and Apple's smart TV solution is getting long in the tooth. Developers will need to know about any opportunities to write apps specifically for the next generation Apple TV, if Apple is going to have apps at launch. The Apple TV isn't a huge moneymaker for Apple, so they could afford to preannounce a new version, and if the current model can support a new version of iOS, it might be able to run third-party apps as is!
- A new iPhone. It's more likely that Apple will announce the next iPhone in September, based on their past introductions, but the pressure from Samsung and HTC may force them to accelerate an announcement. Additionally, the moment Apple announces to developers that they need to support larger screen resolutions, then potential buyers will know a larger iPhone is on the horizon. Apple could just bite the bullet and introduce new iPhones at WWDC.
- A wearable iOS device. At a minimum, Apple could offer a health monitoring device as many competitors have done, or a full-fledged smartwatch with a touchscreen and capable of running iOS apps. This new platform, with its smaller screen, will also require developers to be involved. Since Apple doesn't have such a device, they won't be hurting their own sales by announcing early and could put a hold on purchases of competing offerings.
- Mac users can look forward to new offerings too, including an anticipated ultrathin, ultralight 12" MacBook Air.
- As secretive as Apple is, they are actually somewhat predictable in terms of product lifecycle. Perhaps there will be some surprises at WWDC. We will be watching!