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The buzz around the upcoming Annual WWDC event in San Jose is peppered with all kind of speculation. Here’s a reality check...

brunch Updated: Jun 03, 2017 22:31 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
WWDC,Siri digital assistant speake,MacBook Pro Touchbar
A glimpse of some of the Apple products that are rumoured to be announced at the WWDC

Another Apple event around the corner, another spate of rumours, another line-up of gossip reaching a shrill crescendo. The whispers are coming in fast and strong that the Annual WWDC event in San Jose, USA, could have some really big products announced. Let’s take a look at the rumours flying in, and I’m going to get some reality into the proceedings.

The D in WWDC is important Well, the D stands for Developers and that’s who this event and conference is for. It’s important we understand that the event is mainly for them and not for consumers. Thus, the chances of products being launched here is usually low. I’m not saying they haven’t done it before, I’m just saying that don’t bust a gut in disappointment that WWDC wasn’t used as a platform to introduce some big-ticket items.

A Siri digital assistant speaker

The loudest rumour of them all. Makes sense too as Apple already has Siri as a voice assistant platform, and Amazon and Google are killing it with their digital assistants. Expect Apple to make the speaker look incredibly sleek, add a screen, bring in excellent audio, and price it at about twice the price of the Amazon Echo.

Chances of announcement – 7/10

Apple’s needleless blood sugar tracker

Yes, this is Apple’s entry into the health tech segment. CEO Tim Cook has apparently been seen wearing one and testing it. The tracker doesn’t need to penetrate the skin, syncs with the Apple watch, and gives you a real-time reading. If Apple does announce such a device, then it could be a game changer, as monitoring your blood sugar levels at all times, especially as you eat food could well save millions of lives worldwide.

Chances of announcement – 4/10

Apple Mac Pro

These professional workstations from Apple exist already, but they’ve been due for a huge upgrade since a long time. In fact, some prototypes were apparently shown to a select group. The problem is that WWDC would be the worst place to introduce such a powerful yet niche product. This one needs a small but very focused announcement event of its own.

Chances of announcement – 2/10

4K Apple TV

This is certainly out there as Apple needs to catch up in terms of capabilities and display resolution. Even if it is announced at WWDC, may I put this where it needs to be. Who cares? Apple TV really isn’t about the Indian market, no real content exists and India isn’t on the radar for this product.

Chances of announcement – 7/10

(Amount we should care – 0/10)

MacBooks and iPads

These seem to sound just about right as enhanced versions of previous products have a history of being announced at WWDC. A new MacBook Pro Touchbar version with enhanced specs, a new MacBook Air with a full HD screen and a MacBook with a major boost in performance. Also, a new iPad Pro with better specs is also around the corner.

Chances of announcement – 8/10

Apple Watch Gen 3

Nope, won’t waste your time or mine on this one. Won’t happen at WWDC. In fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t happen this year at all. The Apple Watch needs its time to mature into a steady market and annual releases may just kill that slight momentum it’s gathering.

Chances of announcement – 1/10

Apple iPhone 8/X

Easily the worst rumour of the pack! All I can ask those reporting that Apple is going to take the world by surprise and announce the all-new 10th Anniversary phone at WWDC is one thing. Could you guys get a life and stop wasting everyone’s time? Why would Apple announce its most important product to celebrate its 10th Anniversary of the iPhone, six months before the anniversary date itself?

Chances of announcement – Let’s not even go there!

There, you have it. You’ll get lots of announcements on software, new apps, new services, new add-ons – but WWDC really isn’t about hardware and new Apple products. For all those mightily disappointed about that. Don’t be! 2017 is going to be the year with maximum number of new announcements including the all new self-driving Apple Car that also converts into a drone and can also do some time travel. Maximum five years forward and back. Okay, just kidding!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, June 4, 2017

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First Published: Jun 03, 2017 22:31 IST