Rumor #1: Tablet
The rumors about this have been swirling for years: an Apple-branded touchscreen tablet. The rumors vary, but seem to fall into two camps (actual rumors may vary, but these are my predictions)
- A 10" keyboardless, touchscreen netbook running iPhone OS. Essentially, an oversized iPod touch, optimized for light web browsing and videos. This may or may not feature a wireless data (no voice) connection through Verizon (!) or AT&T.
- A 13" or 15" keyboardless, Intel-powered, touchscreen Mac tablet running OSX that falls somewhere in the MacBook or MacBook Pro line. Possibly aimed at graphics professionals. As with the other rumor, this will also be optimized for web browsing and videos, and may or may not blah blah blah.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: LIKELY that one or both of these is in the works. VERY UNLIKELY that these will be announced tomorrow.
Rumor #2: iPod touch 3G
The rumor is that the touch 3G will feature a faster (3GS-speed) processor, as well as a camera. We've seen supposed insiders, we've seen potential prototypes, we've seen cases (though don't accept case manufacturers' product listings as truth - remember the iPhone nano?) and they all point to cameras. However, rumors have surfaced recently that these have been slightly delayed due to manufacturing defects with the first few thousand that came off the line.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: LIKELY that this will be announced. KINDA LIKELY that this will be available by holiday season, though be prepared for the occasional shortages.
Rumor #3: iTunes 9
Apparently, iTunes 9 is supposed to include support for organizing your apps on your computer (rather than futzing with them on your device), Blu-Ray, Facebook, Twitter, and Last.FM. And the only things we've seen to back that up: a couple of obviously Photoshopped screenshots which I'm not even going to bother posting here.
It just makes sense though: iTunes 9 on 9/9/09. However, if Apple were to go whole hog and embrace social networking, why iTunes first? Add to that the fact that iTunes doesn't even have DVD support yet (DVD playback on the Mac is handled by DVD Player.app, and besides, there's that whole DMCA thing), and the fact that app organization would have to be handled on your device at an OS level, and this is looking shaky. So what WILL be in iTunes 9? More on that later.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: LIKELY that iTunes 9 will be announced tomorrow. KINDA LIKELY that it will be released tomorrow. UNLIKELY that it will have any of those features.
Rumor #4: iPod nano 5G
Apparently, the nano is supposed to be getting a camera and true 16:9 widescreen. Other than that, it'll pretty much be the 4G.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: LIKELY that this will be announced and available by the holiday season.
Rumor #5: iPod classic
Depending on who you listen to, this is either going to be discontinued entirely or given a camera - though I don't think Apple will do either. Given the amount of attention Classic users have been getting lately, and the fact that it's the only high-capacity iPod out there apart from the Apple TV, I'm saying:
RUMOR PROBABILITY: UNLIKELY for both.
Rumor #6: Cocktail
This is what iTunes 9 is for. Basically the next generation of the Enhanced CD concept from the early 1990s, and the Digital Booklets that already exist in the iTunes store, this will bundle an album with videos, interactive liner notes, and other collector-y stuff. Apparently, however, Apple and the labels are developing competing formats.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: LIKELY that it'll debut tomorrow. UNLIKELY that it'll be adopted by too many big-name artists.
Rumor #7: Apple TV
These rumors have been flowing around for a while: price drops, capacity increases, Hulu, Netflix, and a built-in DVR.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: PRETTY LIKELY for the first two. UNLIKELY for the other three - they would eat into the iTunes Store's market.
Rumor #8: Subscription Services
All the music and video you want for a flat monthly fee, so long as you don't mind your music and video wrapped in DRM that expires if you don't pay the bills. Basically, an unlimited rental plan. Think Napster and Netflix rolled into one. While this would sell more Apple TVs, I don't see the major labels and studios - or Apple, for that matter - signing on.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: PRETTY UNLIKELY.
Rumor #9: iPhone OS 3.1
Considering that AT&T announced that MMS would be coming to the 3G and 3GS on September 24th through a firmware update, and that 3.1 has been in beta for a while now, I'd say it's a pretty sure thing. Along with MMS - which will be included for free with any texting plan - it also enables Voice Control via Bluetooth headsets on the 3GS, as well as the usual slate of bug fixes and performance increases. New APIs will include ones for the 3GS's awesome graphics hardware, and camera APIs for augmented reality.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: PRETTY MUCH CERTAIN that it will be a major focus of the event, and CERTAIN that it will come out on September 24th.
Rumor #10: The Beatles
9/9/09, besides being a major day for iPods, is also a big day for another music industry heavyweight: the Beatles. It's the release date for remasters of their entire back catalogue, as well as their own video game, The Beatles: Rock Band. Could the timing of this event - coupled with the requisite possibly-fake-but-maybe-not leaked screenshots - mean something? Or is the recent insider info true and this is just a coincidence? Considering how both Apples (Apple, Inc, which operates iTunes, and Apple Corps, the Beatles' company) like to remain secretive about such things, I'm calling bait and switch. Expect this to be the final announcement of the event.
RUMOR PROBABILITY: I'm saying KINDA LIKELY.
Rumor #11: Steve
Steve Jobs, the company's cofounder and one of the most revered (and stubborn) guys in the tech industry, has a knack for appearing at these events - to thunderous applause - for that "just one more thing" that everyone talks about for weeks afterward. Though he was absent from WWDC due to health issues, he's now back at work. If there's a big announcement at the end, I'm betting that he'll be there - along with his brand new liver - being the one to make it. (What would be REALLY awesome is him onstage at the end of the event with Paul McCartney making a big Beatles announcement...)
RUMOR PROBABILITY: If Rumor #1 or #10 is true, ALMOST CERTAIN. If not, SORTA KINDA LIKELY MAYBE NOT REALLY NO.
While I'll be busy tomorrow - no liveblog here - I'll post a post later in the day summarizing all the cool stuff that was announced that day and checking my analysis.
EDIT: Forgot to add the picture. Also changed some formatting and fixed some irregular white space size.