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Apple WWDC

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Apple announced on Tuesday that in less than a week, Chief Executive Steve Jobs will return to the stage, along with a team of company executives, to present Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iOS 5 -- and to introduce its new iCloud service.

The Worldwide Developers Conference keynote will begin Monday, June 6 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple confirmed that it will show off the now-officially-named iCloud, dubbed "Apple's upcoming cloud services offering." No additional details were given.

Also set to be revealed by Jobs and Apple executives are Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X, and iOS 5, the next version of Apple's mobile operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers. Mac developers will see and learn how to develop world-class Mac OS X Lion applications using its latest technologies and capabilities. Mobile developers will be able to explore the latest innovations and capabilities of iOS and learn how to greatly enhance the functionality, performance and design of their apps. All developers can bring their code to the labs and work with Apple engineers.

Though Tuesday marks the first official confirmation of the iCloud service, its existence was hardly a secret. The company acquired the iCloud.com domain name for an estimated $4.5 million in April.

AppleInsider exclusively reported that same month that Apple was utilizing the iCloud name with several products under development. It is expected that iCloud will replace the existing MobileMe cloud service, which offers e-mail and syncing of contacts and calendars.

A major new component of iCloud is expected to be a music streaming service that will allow users to access their music library from any Internet-connected device, like an iPhone, without the need to save music files locally on the device. It is expected that the product will scan users' iTunes libraries and then mirror them with Apple's own high-quality audio files stored in the cloud.

Monday's announcement of iCloud via a press release less than a week before the WWDC keynote is a strange decision for the secretive company. But in addition to the new service, Apple must also showcase Lion, its next version of Mac OS X, as well as iOS 5 during the keynote to kick off WWDC.

The picture for Lion is slightly more clear, as Apple first showed off the Mac software update last October and preview releases of the software have been provided to developers. Lion will bring iOS features "back to the Mac," including home screens, tighter integration with the Mac App Store, new multi-touch gestures, and full-screen applications that auto-save and auto-resume.

As for iOS 5, both it and Mac OS X Lion are rumored to have deep connectivity with the new iCloud service. Numerous reports have claimed that iOS 5 will offer improved voice commands, but the software is not expected to be unveiled alongside new iPhone hardware. Apple's fifth-generation iPhone is expected to show up sometime later this year, and not at WWDC.

A more recent iOS 5 rumor from last week suggested that Apple also plans to add widgets to its mobile operating system. It was also said that Apple plans to revamp its notification system, a part of the operating system that has been heavily criticized when compared to competing platforms like Google Android and HP's Palm webOS.

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iCloud preannouncement leads Wall Street to expect big things from Apple at WWDC

By Neil Hughes

Published: 08:40 AM EST

After Apple tipped its hand on Tuesday and revealed it will unveil its new iCloud service next week, Wall Street analysts believe the company has set the stage for a strong software-focused Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.

RBC: iCloud and iOS 5 will expand iPhone, iPad markets

Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets sees Apple's upcoming iCloud service as more than just a digital "locker" service that will store users' file. To that effect, he sees iCloud allowing Apple to target iPhones at 5.1 billion handset users worldwide, compared to 1.3 billion PC users.

iCloud could be an important step for Apple, making it so users are not required to have a Mac or PC to sync their device, or store music and movies. He imagines a new version of iOS where users no longer need to tether to a machine to upgrade their software, making the addressable market much larger.

Abramsky also said that iCloud could allow Apple to exploit what he sees are three competitive advantages: licensing and digital rights management, consumer friendliness, and a massive existing install base of more than 200 million iOS devices, plus iTunes users.

"Apple's licensing relationships and 'controlled' platform may appeal to studios/publishers seeking to minimize piracy, while protecting their economics in a hosted model," Abramsky wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. "iCloud may also be differentiated via Apple's trademark user experience for convenience, simplicity, and discoverability. iCloud APIs may in time extend to developers."

As for the iOS 5 update, Abramsky said he believes Apple may offer hosted online services like content streaming, voice recognition and translation, photo sharing, community and multiplayer capabilities. This could lead to new iOS devices built around iCloud services.

But a key for Apple will be how strong the debut is for iCloud. Abramsky recalled that the 2008 debut of Apple's current cloud-based service, MobileMe, didn't go so well, with performance and reliability issues.

Jobs was said to be furious following the launch of MobileMe. The Chief Executive reportedly assembled the team that created the service and scolded them in a meeting at the auditorium on Apple's corporate campus, saying that they had "tarnished Apple's reputation."

Because of that learning experience, Abramsky expects that Apple will have a more measured, possibly staggered rollout of the new iCloud service. "Apple may initially limit iCloud's scope," he said, "before expanding to a broader audience."

Sterne Agee: iCloud could be a game-changer

Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee said Apple's unusual announcement on Tuesday, in which it revealed the talking points for Steve Jobs' WWDC keynote, signals that most of the focus will probably be on the new iCloud service, which he believes "could be a very big deal." He sees iCloud making iTunes even more powerful, allowing users to access their content from any device, anywhere.

"We notice that every time a new feature is added to iTunes (like TV and movie rentals), its utility value increases, which in turn drives more hardware sales, i.e., iPhone, iPad and Macs," Wu said in a note to investors.

With the focus on iCloud and software, Wu doesn't expect much of a focus on hardware. It's possible, he said, Apple could announce new Macs with Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, but he expects an iPhone announcement to come later than usual this year.

Citing checks with supply chain sources, Wu corroborated with other reports that have indicated the fifth-generation iPhone will be a relatively minor update from the iPHone 4. He has been told that Apple will have a "more radical iPhone refresh" in 2012, when the company is expected to introduce a model with support for high-speed 4G long-term evolution data.

JMP Securities: Revolution lies in the software

Analyst Alex Gauna said in a note to investors on Wednesday that he has fairly low expectations for new hardware at WWDC. Instead, he's more interested in what Apple has to say about software and its new iCloud service.

He said software advancements with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud could be "much more revolutionary" than a fifth-generation iPhone. Numerous reports have suggested that Apple will not unveil a new iPhone or any hardware at this year's conference.

"We will be looking to measure whether the advances are enhancements to consumer-centric offerings such as iTunes and MobileMe, or virtualization breakthroughs that pave the way for more significant enterprise, social networking, and/or multimedia inroads," Gauna wrote.

He believes Apple is in a "unique position to shock and awe with enhancements, extensions and harmonization" of Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud. Because of that, he hopes Apple's announcements are "substantial," and make the company "capable of distancing itself from Android's gathering momentum."

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big question is gonna be new iphone?

doubt it tho...

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Cant wait TBH, slowly fully moving over to Apple now, iMAC FTW

For once Apple are actually doing better than MS, in terms of business and image.

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All developers can bring their code to the labs and work with Apple engineers.

must be like Glastonbury for nerds

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Cant wait TBH, slowly fully moving over to Apple now, iMAC FTW

For once Apple are actually doing better than MS, in terms of business and image.

Windows is on 90% of the operating system market, Windows 7 tablets are about to come out, and Windows mobile is rapidly improving. Plus xbox & kinect are doing very well.

Giving others a head start, then coming out with better stuff >>>>

Microsoft are comfy.

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Microsoft helped start up Apple. I don't think Apple will overtake Windows anytime soon although I do believe the macs should be more common place since they are hands down better than windows.

Interested in actually seeing what Lion will offer. Better come out soon. Want my free installation CD before I leave Apple.

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Never said overtake just said MS are not making as much they were and Apple are making huge strides.

There image is not young and hip and they are desperately trying to change their image. They don't even state on the XBOX boxes that they make it. Just a very tiny symbol saying MS.

Have saying all that if it wasnt for PC's being allowed to work with iPods then Apple wouldnt be as popular.

(Yes I watched Superbrands last week lol)

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lol @ using windows in pre 2012 tbh

Macs > ____

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Will apple ever make a games console?

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Will apple ever make a games console?

Would be too over priced lol

/

Infinity Blade champion :Y:

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i think if apple are to get in the gaming market i think it would be thru sony, they were interested in buying them out last year.

if that doesnt happen i think they would go for a wii type device based on apple tv and ipod touch like remotes.

they actually turned down the opportunity to buy kinect before microsoft acquired it.

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I really hope Apple don't make gaming consoles ever. They would be overpriced and overgassed. Already way too many stupid customers that buy sh*t just because of the brand attached to it.

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Apple's 2011 Worldwide Developer's Conference kicks off tomorrow with a keynote from Steve Jobs starting at 10am Pacific (6PM GMT). Apple has already revealed that they will be talking about Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud at the event. Developer registration began today (photos above and below).

The early speculation about iCloud had primarily focused on Apple's impending deals with music companies and the ability to stream iTunes music to your Macs and iOS devices. But more recently, there's been talk about new iOS-powered Time Capsules that how might serve as some sort of file syncing hub or update caching system.

iOS seems up for a major update with rumors of revamped notifications and widgets as well as major twitter integration. A new Automatic Downloads feature for Apps also seems certain.

There have been some hints that Mac OS X Lion may be practically ready to launch with some even pinpointing date of June 14th as the targeted released date.

As always, there are usually last minute rumors and leaks on the night prior to the event, so stay tuned.

Unfortunately, there's been no indication that Apple will be video streaming this event, but we'll provide live coverage during the keynote with photos and updates. Follow us @MacRumorsLive for live updates and @MacRumors for ongoing news and updates.

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Lion almost ready to go?

Bladdy hell if that's true. Apple ain't f*ck*ng around.

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there's been talk about new iOS-powered Time Capsules that how might serve as some sort of file syncing hub or update caching system.

does this make sense to anyone?

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am i the only one who hates apple computers, hated them from day one

aint gonna lie im very anti apple, Microsoft do the job and always will be. no1 knows how to use macs in the office, unless u do multimedia stuff

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Macs are so much better than Microsoft it's unreal. Never understood people's hate for the machines. I understand the hate for the brand or people that work there, but the machines are superior to any pc/windows machine you bring past it.

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in what ways?

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Macs are so much better than Microsoft it's unreal. Never understood people's hate for the machines. I understand the hate for the brand or people that work there, but the machines are superior to any pc/windows machine you bring past it.

Macs remind me of communist China. You are restricted on what to do on your machine unless Mr Jobs says so.

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Macs are so much better than Microsoft it's unreal. Never understood people's hate for the machines. I understand the hate for the brand or people that work there, but the machines are superior to any pc/windows machine you bring past it.

Its more of the fact that a huge amount of apple owners think they are better than the rest, their PC v MAC adverts plays on that .

Its almost like a religon to be an Apple onwer, did you see the opening of the store in Canarby street lol

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Macs are so much better than Microsoft it's unreal. Never understood people's hate for the machines. I understand the hate for the brand or people that work there, but the machines are superior to any pc/windows machine you bring past it.

Macs remind me of communist China. You are restricted on what to do on your machine unless Mr Jobs says so.

one of the few reasons I have a problem with Mac OS is the hardware restrictions, its like iOS/Android if u have 3 products, u can control how the OS works on that hardware so itll prob work better, if its being put on 10000 devices some will be powerful, some wont, so the experience may be different, some people I know who switched to mac n said they were better had sh*t PCs

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U can upgrade iMacs easy cant you ? Dunno about other products but iMacs I know you can

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