WWDC Rumors

/ 4 June 2008

As you all may know, WWDC ‘08 begins Monday, and Steve Job’s Keynote will fall Monday morning (hopefully it will be up for streaming by that night). This is just a quick and dirty recap of the rumors (and facts) that have popped up related to what will be announced.

It is fact that the iPhone/ iPod Touch v2.0 firmware went Gold Master earlier this week, but can’t be publicly released at WWDC due to a restriction based on cell carriers. Instead, late June/ early July is when it will be released.

The iPhone 2.0 is said (rumor?) to be announced at WWDC. This newer device will have a black casing, be 3G, and have GPS among other improvements. If indeed it is available at WWDC, it may have the v1.0 firmware installed with free upgrades (all iPhones may get free upgrades, but the iPod Touch owners will need to pay at least $20.00) due to the aforementioned restriction.

It has been deeply rumored that .Mac will be no more come WWDC, and instead it will be replaced by Mobile Me. This newer service will have most of the same features, but seriously improved upon. Evidence of this change includes the purchase of mobileme.com domain name by Apple and the hard proof of a change that is evident in Mac OS X 10.5.3. That evidence is the replacement of “.Mac” with a variable in many localization files of iCal, Mail, and others. A new feature would be iPhone (iPod Touch?) integration. The price hasn’t been speculated upon yet.

The most unbelievable rumored announcement for WWDC is that of Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard. This is hard to believe mainly because of how new 10.5 Leopard still is, but also because of the details of the rumor. It is said that come 10.6 and the PowerPC architecture will be dropped. This means that Mac OS X will be fully 64-bit Intel, and not be able to get installed onto any PPC-based Macs. Chances are good that both Universal binaries and Rossetta will not be supported either (but who knows). The OS will have no new features and fully focus on stability and security (as well as transforming it into a fully-cocoa form). With that alone as the specs, Apple really shouldn’t charge for 10.6 at all, or at least not the full $119.00 that they usually charge for a major operating system release (but, sadly, they likely will), but we’d be able to hold out with 10.5 quite a ways if there aren’t any new features anyways. It is rumored that Apple will seed the first build of the OS to develops at WWDC and attempt to make Gold Master by Christmas, aiming for a January 2009 release date. That said, Apple is really aiming to make the PPC architecture obsolete before the decade closes.

Just keep in mind that these are all (for the most part) just rumors and my blog post on Monday will tell what is true of this and what isn’t. Till Monday, this is enough to thrive on the topic of new Apple stuff. The rumors will continue to flood in until the Keynote, but this is the only post on them that I’ll write, follow the sites I linked to from here for updates. Enjoy, Alex.