Report: WWDC To Focus On iOS, iCloud

An investor note from Sterne Agee has put the mobile iOS operating system and iCloud forward as the focus for Apple’s developer conference this month

As the world awaits Apple’s latest Wordwide Developers Conference (WWDC), to be held from 11 to 15 June at San Francisco’s Moscone West, reports and rumours are piling up as to what the company will choose to showcase.

May reports suggested Apple would unveil photo-sharing capabilities for the iCloud service. An investor note by Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, which Mac-centric blog AppleInsider picked up, said the mobile iOS operating system would be upgraded to improve photo-sharing capabilities and an in-house 3D mapping application to replace Google Maps.

3D mapping

Apple’s new mapping application is reportedly using 3D mapping technology by C3 Technologies, which the company acquired in 2011. This followed earlier acquisitions of mapping-software companies Placebase and Poly9, which led analysts to think Apple was trying to wean its iOS devices off Google Maps.

For its part Google is hosting an invitation-only event on 6 June to showcase features from the next generation of Google Maps, an invite received by technology blog TheNextWeb confirmed.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook threw some grist into the rumour mill during a keynote interview at the D10 tech conference earlier this week, telling the crowd Apple will “blow them away” with WWDC announcements.

“We have some incredible things coming,” he was quoted as saying, while withholding any specifics. Many analysts have been anticipating Apple will unveil a high-tech television, but whether Apple would dive into such a competitive commodity market remains subject to debate.

To top it all off, AppleInsider also reported some employees at a Texas Apple Store have been asked to stay late on 5 June, which has fuelled speculation Apple is planning on a product launch or promotional event in anticipation of WWDC.

Black box

The blog also reported on alleged unannounced visits by Apple network engineers to several of the company’s retail stores in possession of a black box, an incident likely to raise further speculation about Apple’s immediate plans.

At this year’s five-day conference, Apple will also offer more than 100 technical sessions presented by company engineers on a range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating iOS and OS X technologies, as well as the Apple Design Awards, a showcase of the most outstanding apps from the past year.

“We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in prepared remarks.

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