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If you're an Apple fan of any sort, you'll be aware that next week is the 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Rumors abound at this point on what we'll see. We tend to be fairly conservative in terms of our expectations of Apple announcements. So what will we see?
iPhone:

Almost certainly a focus on iOS 6, the new operating system for iDevices. Will it be a completely new look, or just an evolution of what we currently have? Our bet is evolution. Apple's method of remaining competitive is to either introduce a whole new product, or upgrade a major feature of a current product to leapfrog the competition. At this point the iPhone is selling extremely well, so there's little pressure to upgrade all that much. We will likely see a larger-screen iPhone later this year, but doubt it will be announced this month.

MacBook Pro:

This is where things get a touch hazy. Will we see high-resolution MacBook Pros? Will Apple finally ditch the optical drive on the Pro line? We tend to think they will at some point, but it's anyone's guess if it happens this refresh. 

At WWDC we'd like to see thinner and lighter MacBook Pros, with USB 3.0 support, no optical drive, and high resolution displays. The 13" MacBook Pro, unless you need a huge amount of disk space, is for the most part rendered obsolete at this point. The 13" MacBook Air is more than powerful enough for most users (especially with the zippy SSD present in all Air models), is thinner, lighter, and has a higher resolution display (1440x900 vs 1280x800 on the 13" Pro).  

Hopefully the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros get upgrades, but with the majority of users favoring 15" laptops and under, maybe the 17" MacBook Pro will disappear altogether? 

We'd also like to see the new WiFI 802.11ac standard in some Apple devices at this point. Apple was very much in love with 802.11n at the very beginning, so it would be great to see them push for faster wireless devices. If it happens, expect new Time Capsule and Airport Express devices, too!

MacBook Air:

The MacBook Air could receive higher-resolution displays, but we're doubting it at this point in its life-cycle. If upgraded, expect a simple Ivy Bridge bump. 

iMac: 

We'd like to see high-resolution iMacs (27" 5120x2880, and 21.5" 3840x2160), but we're not sure it's going to happen quite yet (we'd love to be surprised!). Expect an upgrade to Intel's Ivy Bridge line, a bump in graphics power, and hopefully USB 3.0. 

Mac Pro:

The Mac Pro hasn't seen an upgrade since August, 2010. This is because many users have shied away from large workstations, and Apple's main consumer base simply prefer laptops and iMacs. After all, if the Mac Pro was Apple's best seller, you can bet it would have been upgraded in the last two years! So one of two things will happen, here: Either the Mac Pro will disappear entirely, or it will receive a hefty boost in power and perhaps bring in some new buyers. We tend to think Mac Pro buyers aren't Apple's target market anymore, but that's just our take on it...

Mac mini:

While it once caused a stir with the removal of its optical drive, it may well have been Apple's attempt to test the disc-less waters. It's DVD-less body doesn't seem to have ruffled too many feathers, and it appears to be selling well for Apple. If upgraded at WWDC, expect a non-too startling upgrade to Ivy Bridge processors. 

What else?:

Expect an announcement regarding OS Mountain Lion and its release in the Mac App Store by the end of this month.

As mentioned earlier, we'd like to see Airport Express and Time Capsule upgrades, hopefully to 802.11ac.

So What, Then?

Apple has the opportunity here to really silence the critics. Since Steve Jobs' death, many have wondered whether this was too large of a bite out of the Apple. We think not, and expect quite a few surprises next week. Heck, will Tim Cook finally reveal the much anticipated Apple television and silence his critics once and for all?

We hope to not be disappointed!
 


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