The 4 Biggest Things Apple Could Announce Next Week

Jun 02, 2017

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, kicks off on June 5 this year. Speaking broadly, we can expect big updates for devices like the iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac. While WWDC is typically focused on software, some observers are predicting we might see new gadgets from the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant as well.

Here's a look at some of the biggest WWDC announcements Apple may make.

New software

Your costly iPhone or Mac wouldn't be nearly as useful without the software that powers it, which is why Apple introduces major upgrades each year. It's nearly a sure bet that Apple will unveil new software for the iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac and Apple TV during the conference. Reports from Bloomberg suggest iOS 11 will include a refreshed user interface and a new version of Apple Music with a bigger focus on video content. There's a chance Apple may add deeper Apple Pencil integration for the iPad in its next software update as well.

Updates to Apple Pay could be in the works, too. Recode reported that the company had been discussing a Venmo-like money transfer system with partners.

Given the big focus Apple placed on Siri in iOS 10, such as announcing the ability for developers to plug their apps into the virtual assistant, it seems likely we'll see more improvements this year.

Apple is also said to be working on new camera features for the iPhone that are powered by augmented reality, such as the ability to change the depth of a photograph after it's been taken. There's a slimmer chance we'll see those features debut in iOS 11, since the report gave no launch time frame. It's possible Apple will wait until it releases its next iPhone to introduce such features.

It's unclear what Apple may have planned for the Apple Watch, although CNBC recently reported that the company acquired Beddit, which makes sleep tracking devices. That suggests Apple may be investigating ways to incorporate sleep monitoring into its smartwatch or other products.

There have been few rumors about Mac software updates, but it's likely Apple will keep polishing native apps like Mail and Photos.

Read more: Can Apple Make You Want an iPad Again?

Apple's answer to the Amazon Echo

Amazon and Google won't be the only companies battling it out in your living room. Apple could announce a smart speaker powered by its Siri virtual assistant at this year's WWDC, Bloomberg reports. Although Apple may demo the device at the conference, it probably won't begin selling it until later this year.

Apple may include virtual surround sound technology in its speaker to distinguish it from the Amazon Echo and Google Home, says the report. If Apple does release a new Siri speaker, it would mark the first major product category under Tim Cook's tenure since the Apple Watch.

Three new MacBooks

Those considering purchasing a new Apple laptop may be wise to wait until after June 5. The company is expected to introduce a MacBook Pro with Intel's newer Kaby Lake generation processor, an upgraded version of the 12-inch MacBook with a faster Intel chip and a MacBook Air with a refreshed processor, according to Bloomberg. The latter would be a surprising move for Apple, which has largely neglected the Air model in recent years to devote more attention to the pricier 12-inch MacBook and Pro models.

Still, it would make sense given the strategy the company has pursued in recent years of giving customers more options at different price points. In 2016, Apple unveiled the budget-friendly iPhone SE that has the same processor as the iPhone 6s but only costs $399. And just months ago it debuted a cheaper iPad with a 9.7-inch screen starting at $329. It would make sense to have a similar option in the Mac lineup as well.

A new iPad

Apple's iPad already comes in three sizes, but the company may add a fourth next week, says KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The company could introduce a 10.5-inch model that would be about the same size as the standard 9.7-inch version, but with slimmer bezels allowing for a larger screen.

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