WWDC 2009 Rumor Roundup: iPhone, Snow Leopard, Laptops?
WWDC 2009 is upon us and we've traditionally provided a rumor roundup prior to the big event to summarize the most likely rumors surrounding the Apple event.
The product that seems to be getting the most attention ahead of the keynote is the next iPhone. Especially with the recent attention the Palm Pre has gotten as a potential "iPhone killer", everyone is eager to see what Apple is preparing for their next iteration. The Palm Pre, itself, provides some hints at what technology could realistically be delivered in the new iPhone.
The Palm Pre uses the ARM Cortex-A8 processor which represents the next generation ARM processor that is currently used in the iPhone. Apple is certain to use the ARM Cortex as it provides "the highest performance, most power-efficient" ARM processor available. Apple's job listings have also revealed that they are looking for ARM Cortex-specific programmers to take advantage of the more advanced features of the processor.
As well, Apple is believed to have licensed future 3D graphics chips from Imagination Technologies. Apple currently utilizes the 4th generation of this graphics chip, though the 5th generation is now available and ready for use. This new graphics chip will allow for more advanced 3D graphics on the next iPhone.
This information is also in line with reports by John Gruber who suggest that the next iPhone will be disproportionately faster than the current iPhone.
Other features that seem almost certain at this point based on the mounting evidence include:
- Magnetometer (MacRumors, Boy Genius Report, AppleInsider, Daring Fireball, UMPCFever)
- Auto Focus Camera (MacRumors, UMPCFever)
- Video (MacRumors, Engadget Mobile, Boy Genius Report, Businessweek)
- 4GB to 32GB sizes (Engadget, AreaMobile.de, Tweakers.net, Analyst)
- 7.2 Mbps 3G (AT&T, Boy Genius Report, MacRumors, Silicon Alley Insider, iLounge).
Surprisngly enough, this final list matches up well with an anonymous post from a Chinese forum, so it'll be interesting to see how right those details were after the event.
Despite the multitude of possible case designs that have been circulating around the internet, most of them are either believed to be fake or have been proven to be fake. The most credible case leak came in February when a matte iPhone case appeared forum sources in China. This possibility of a Matte case was later repeated by iLounge which has had a good record in the past. Meanwhile, most of the depictions of front-facing iChat cameras have been artist renditions and we feel there has been no real evidence that Apple will be launching that feature tomorrow.
iPhone 3.0 will certainly be discussed during the WWDC keynote and a launch date will also likely be announced.
Despite having such a long lead time, few new rumors about Snow Leopard have been circulating. Apple has been seeding developers with early releases over the past 12 months. While there have been minor revelations here and there, there are few major new details about Apple's upcoming operating system. Developers are expected to get the latest build of Snow Leopard (Build 10A380?) at WWDC and we hope to hear more definitive plans about the launch.
Meanwhile, the one secret change that had been rumored (Marble interface) may not be seen at all in Mac OS X 10.6.
Finally, there had been some rumors about the possibility of notebook updates at WWDC back in April. These small updates could incorporate 3G into some of the laptops, or lower the price to stimulate sales. There has also been talk of rebranding all aluminum notebooks under the "MacBook Pro" moniker.
This sort of talk, however, has died down in the days leading up to WWDC and it would be strange for Apple to devote much time to their laptop line at their development conference. If these changes are to take place, it seems likely they would be "quiet" updates or perhaps occur a few weeks after WWDC, itself.
The 2009 WWDC Keynote kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern time and will be given by Phil Schiller. MacRumors will be providing live coverage on MacRumorsLive, twitter @macrumors, and a Spoiler Free notification system.