I'd be remiss if I didn't at least try to make some predictions for Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference). Speculation is a key part of of being an Apple enthusiast. Clearly the focus is going to be on the iPhone and iPad, and the Mac is playing second fiddle at this time.
I really only have thought about what they are going to do with the iPhone, and just a couple thoughts on that.
iPhone 4.0 - Will be a more polished version of what we saw on Gizmodo's website. That phone prototype has made it's way around too many areas without being the production unit.
- I predict the video chat feature will be a partnership with Skype. I don't think Apple would do an iPhone -> iPhone only video chat. By doing that, they would add a feature that many people wouldn't be able to take advantage of, except owners of the new iPhone 4 hardware. By opening it up to the userbase of Skype, it certainly could become a must have reason to upgrade your hardware.
- It's launch date will be the weekend of June 25th. They can't do the 29th again, due to it being a mid-week launch and they want to get the press for people waiting in line on the weekend. The following weekend is 4th of July weekend, which is important here in the USA and most people travel out of town.
- No Verizon announcement -- yet. Even though AT&T is doing things that point toward that, it seems odd to me that Apple would create a Verizon specific CDMA version of the iPhone. It would be replaced next year with the 4G LTE phones, which would be more compatible across various carriers. Then again, that might be another technique for making a phone obsolete and a reason to upgrade again. It could go either way.
Verizon has been increasing their backhaul bandwidth substantially, so they are:
A) getting ready for the iPhone
B) getting ready for the 4G LTE network
C) A and B
Personally, I think Apple needs to open it up to all carriers. That's going to be the best way to keep Android phones at bay. If you have choice between an iPhone and an Android phone, I believe most consumers will choose the iPhone if it is available at their carrier [sprint, t-mobile, verizon, etc.].
This new iPhone will be slick, faster (1Ghz Snapdragon processor), higher resolution screen, and hopefully a lot more that we can't imagine. I've prepared myself to be let down. I don't think Apple will have advanced the hardware enough to compete with some of the new phones like the HTC Evo or Incredible. The hardware more feature rich on those platforms, but the iPhone does have loyalty and a coolness factor that is instantly recognized.
iTunes - I think the time is right to start their streaming service. It makes sense with the acquisition of LaLa, and the heat of Android breathing down their neck without a similar feature. That would be a must-have feature and give Apple the edge again. That would be more exciting to me that multi-tasking on the phone.
Oh Apple, how you make us wonder....