Apple’s Big Event in June Could Have Some Hardware Surprises

May 15, 2017

Each year, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) plays host to some of the company's most important software advancements. But this year's show could have some surprises.

Over the last few months, several reports have said that Apple has big plans for the show. The company will principally discuss updates to its mobile and desktop operating systems iOS and macOS, respectively, the reports have said. But the show could also put the spotlight on the smart home and how Apple plans to boost its tablet division with a new iPad. And with a steady stream of rumors about original entertainment content surrounding the company, it's possible Apple's new tvOS could play a big role in the company's keynote on June 5.

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Here's a brief look at some things Apple might be planning for this year's WWDC:

Hardware

Apple (aapl) hasn't announced hardware at one of its developer confabs in years. And over the last few years, Apple has spent much of its time trying to educate developers on all the new features its software offers. But this year could be different, if some recent reports are any indication.

The most recent WWDC report came from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who told investors over the weekend that there's a good chance Apple could unveil a new iPad Pro at the event. The tablet would come with a 10.5-inch screen and a new design that reduces the size of the tablet's screen bezels. That could result in the iPad being the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but capable of squeezing a larger screen onto its face.

Additionally, Kuo, whose comments were earlier reported on by MacRumors, said that the long-rumored Apple Siri Speaker, a smart home hub that would let users issue voice commands to control apps, toggle smart home switches on and off, and more, could be in the works. The Siri Speaker has been the subject of several rumors of late, including one from Kuo earlier this month that suggests the device could come with seven speakers and a subwoofer. And it might be more expensive than existing smart home devices like the Amazon Echo.

Software

Software will likely take up much of Apple's time during WWDC. The show, after all, is designed to play host to developers from around the world who want to learn more about software development and the new features Apple has planned for its new operating systems.

Apple itself has said that it will discuss new features for its desktop operating system macOS, as well its iPhone's operating system iOS. Additionally, the company is expected to discuss improvements in its other operating systems, like watchOS for Apple Watch and tvOS for its Apple TV set-top box. There's also a chance, some reports have said, that Apple will discuss the smart home and how it's improving control over smart home devices through its HomeKit service. It's also possible Apple discusses some advancements in its health-services offering, HealthKit.

Meanwhile, Apple is working on original video content that, at least for now, is slated to be streamed through its Apple Music subscription service. Some reports have suggested Apple will discuss improvements to Apple Music and talk about some of its original content.

Apple will kick off WWDC with all of its announcements during a keynote address at 1 p.m. ET on June 5. This year's show will be held at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. between June 5 and June 9.

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