Consider the hype machine up and running for WWDC 2011(s aapl).
thanks to an official announcement highlighting Steve Jobs as the keynote speaker on June 7 at 10:00 AM PDT. WWDC 2011 will cover five key technology tracks: Application Frameworks, Internet & Web, Graphics & Media, Developer Tools, and Core OS. However, it’s Steve’s appearance that is the real news. Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January but remains involved in strategic decisions at Apple, last made a public appearance at the iPad 2 launch event in March. That makes for an interesting comparison of event importance, especially considering that Jobs has skipped WWDC in the past. Last year, Jobs gave the keynote and launched the iPhone 4, as well as the iOS platform, which was previously named iPhone iOS. However, in 2009 Apple’s Phil Schiller did the keynote, introducing the iPhone 3GS, iPhone OS 3, demoing OS X 10.7, and showing off new MacBooks. Considering that this year’s WWDC will reportedly not have new hardware as the next generation iPhone is widely expected in the fall, what non-hardware announcement could be so important as to bring Steve Jobs to the keynote?
Conventional rumor wisdom suggests the event will feature a relaunch of MobileMe (possibly named iCloud) and that service may be free, or at least include free services. A paid service for online storage and streaming of music is also expected. Of course, OS X Lion will be shown, and almost certainly at least a preview of iOS 5.
While these are all important products, do they warrant the presence of Steve Jobs? I’d argue that they don’t, and that could mean some other mysterious product will be announced, or perhaps Jobs is returning to Apple full-time. No matter the outcome, TAB will be reporting the event as it happens.