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Apple’s WWDC Announcements: What are the chances?

Posted June 1, 2017 | Mac

It’s the week before the kick-off of Apple’s product year at WWDC in San Jose. This is a week full of wish lists, rumors, speculation, and wild ideas. Next week all of that will collapse into one single truth: the reality of what’s unveiled on stage in San Jose.

Gamblers know this feeling. Once the result is known, all of the probabilities collapse to the cold, hard truth of winners and losers.

With that theme in mind, this is not another WWDC Wish List. Rather, consider this a report on the current odds of various WWDC predictions coming true. This is all in fun, ladies and gentlemen, so please: no wagering!

Sure bets

The surest bet at any WWDC is that Apple will unveil the next generation of all of its operating systems, due to ship in the fall. Yes, it’s a near certainty that Apple will announce details about the next versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Another near-certainty: Apple likes to please its audience, and at WWDC (unlike the invite-only media events Apple holds the rest of the year), the audience is primarily Apple developers. So you can count on Apple making some announcements that are focused on getting whoops of applause from the assembled developers. That will likely come in a verbal commitment to professional Mac users—and pretty much every developer for Apple’s platforms uses a Mac to get their job done.


Expect to hear a lot about Apple services like iCloud.

Apple has been hyping the growth of its Services revenue line with Wall Street a lot recently. Services are a major growth area for Apple, and while it’s easy to lose sight of them when we’re all hyped up for new hardware and software announcements, it’s hard to imagine that Apple’s various services will be a recurring theme of the keynote. We’ll hear about iCloud, iCloud Photo Library, and Apple Music… a lot.

If you’ve been paying attention to the last couple of years of tech-industry stage events, it’s clear that the large tech companies (especially Apple) have heard the criticism that their stage presenters are overwhelmingly white and male. Apple has been slowly changing the mix of their presenters, bringing in new faces including more women and people of color. The usual suspects will be on stage, of course, but it’s not much of a bet to predict that we’ll see a bunch of new faces on stage as well.

Finally, I’m not going to accept any bets about the fact that Apple will continue something it’s been doing at most of its major events for the past two years: defining what Apple Watch is good at. Since the first what-doesn’t-it-do event in September of 2014, Apple has been working to give the product more definition. Health and fitness have both been areas of focus, and I expect to see those enhanced, perhaps joined by one or two more. Apple is still in the process of defining the Apple Watch, and that process will continue.

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