Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced the date for its yearly developer conference. WWDC 2017 will take place in San Jose, starting on June 5. What can you expect the company to announce at the Apple event?
As a developer conference, Apple usually focuses on software at its June events and WWDC 2017 will follow the same pattern.
The company likes to offer hints at what its upcoming operating system releases hold with demos during the keynote presentation.
With the iPhone dominating Apple’s bottom line, iOS 11 — the next version of AAPL’s mobile operating system — is bound to get the majority of the stage time.
You can expect to see the latest versions of Apple’s other operating systems to be shown off as well. We’ll find out which California geographical feature macOS 10.13 will be named after, along with the latest new features for Mac users. Apple Watch’s watchOS and the Apple TV’s tvOS will also get mentions.
WWDC 2017: What About the Hardware?
Software is exciting to app developers. For everyone else, maybe not so much, especially when it’s just a teaser or dives into technical details. What really gets people’s attention — especially from an Apple event — is new hardware. AAPL doesn’t put an emphasis on revealing new products on stage at these developer conferences, but there have been exceptions, including:
- Mac Pro at WWDC 2006
- iPhone 3G at WWDC 2008
- 13-inch MacBook Pro and iPhone 3GS at WWDC 2009
- iPhone 4 at WWDC 2010
- MacBook Pro with Retina Display WWDC 2012
- New Mac Pro at WWDC 2013
Historically speaking, we may be overdue for a hardware announcement and there are two possibilities that come into mind for WWDC 2017.
WWDC 2017: iPhone 8?
It’s been many years since AAPL chose its summer Apple event to take the wraps off a new iPhone. It’s a long shot, but there’s a possibility the company may choose WWDC 2017 to unveil the iPhone 8. Why?
First, there’s the significance of the June conference date. 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and the very first one first went on sale in June, 2007. Then there are the rumors that Apple is planning to ramp up iPhone 8 production in June, which would be earlier than usual.
But the most compelling reason why the company might show off the iPhone 8 early is the developers in attendance. We’re pretty sure AAPL is going to make sweeping changes to the iPhone 8. Besides design changes, that could mean anything from an optical scanner to a mini version of the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar replacing the Home button.
The company will want apps available at launch that make use of any new hardware and that means bringing developers into the loop early. Apple may decide to let the cat out of the bag at WWDC 2017 so developers have a chance to learn about the new features and capabilities.
Another possibility on the hardware front is a revamped Apple TV. AAPL has been struggling with its set-top streamer with sales once again dropping off. It recently hired the former head of Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire TV division to help turn around the Apple TV’s fortunes. One of the big missing pieces from the Apple TV is relatively easy to fix. A new box with 4K support would address the issue of being stuck in the 1080p era when everyone else is doing Ultra HD, and it’s possible Apple could have this ready for June.
Of course, we have a few months to wait until we find out for sure. Watch InvestorPlace for coverage of WWDC 2017. Once the keynote wraps up on June 5, we’ll be posting on all the major Apple event reveals.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.