UPDATE: The vast majority of the predictions below proved to be off target. A new iPhone 3G S was announced, and I will be getting one. If you missed WWDC 2009, there’s always the streaming video. Otherwise, enjoy my fan-fiction-esque predictions of what could have been below.
There’s a little extra anticipation in the air today—a little more anticipation than is normal on the weekend before an Apple World Wide Developers Conference—knowing that there is now this thing called the Palm Pre out there to challenge the iPhone.
I think that Monday’s WWDC 2009 Keynote will be delivered by Phil Schiller, and begin by focusing on the iPhone Apps, iPhone 3.0 OS, and the new SDK, but then shift gears to talking quite a bit about Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Schiller will talk about the new version of iTunes that will come with Snow Leopard and which we will all be able to download later that day, and he’ll make a slighting remark towards Palm, saying something like, “Of course, if you’ve recently purchased unsupported hardware, you might want to hold off on upgrading as long as you can in order to ensure you can continue syncing your music for as long as possible.”
Then, just when Schiller seems to be winding down and everyone is starting to despair about the lack of any new hardware, we’ll hear the noise of an iChat video chat invitation coming from the iMac on stage that Schiller has been using to demo all of Snow Leopard’s features.
The invitation will read quite plainly:
“Would you like to video chat with Steve Jobs?”
Schiller will expand the video chat and we’ll see Jobs smiling saying, “Phil, I think you were about to forget that we have one more thing…” then he will walk out on stage while smiling into his iPhone “…the most amazing iPhone we’ve ever created: the iPhone Video.”
He’ll turn the iPhone Video front-facing to the crowd that is mostly clapping and standing up, as some feint or begin weeping with joy, and video of all these people’s reactions in the audience will be displayed on the big screen behind the presentation showing the video streaming on Phil Schiller’s iMac from Steve Jobs’ new iPhone Video.
Then, Steve Jobs’ new iPhone Video will play the same iChat invitation noise. Steve Jobs will say, “Hmm, I wonder who this is?” as the video behind the presentation switches to an over-the-shoulder shot of the iPhone Video in his hand. On the screen, there will be the still active video chat with Schiller and along the bottom of the screen, there will be a notification “Video chat invitation from Woz. Send to video visual voicemail, pause this video chat and join the new one, end this video chat and join the new one, or conference call?”
Steve will smile to the audience, “Hey, everyone. It’s Woz!” as he touches “Conference Call.” The iPhone Video’s display will suddenly feature not only Schiller, but also Woz, along with a very small preview of Steve Jobs himself gazing, smiling into the device. Then the display will switch back from the iPhone Video camera to display Schiller’s desktop, where Steve and Woz will both be pictured in familiar video chat conference call style.
Woz is wearing a helmet as he says “Hey guys, this iPhone Video is cool!” and then he rolls out on stage on his Segway with the iPhone Video mounted on the Segway’s handlebars. Woz, says, “Hey Steve, I brought that prototype you’ve been letting me use.”
Everyone thinks Woz is talking about the iPhone Video, but then Jobs says, “Okay, Woz, hold on to that for a minute while I tell everyone about the iPhone Video.” Woz rolls his Segway to the back of the stage area and gets off it, sort of just standing there with his helmet still on, fiddling with the iPhone Video, as Steve goes through the pricing, specs, and availability of the new iPhone Video. It will be available immediately online and via Apple Stores (in order to destroy Palm).
After talking about how happy Apple has been with the partnership with AT&T, Steve Jobs will say, “But we’re always looking for the best partnerships for our customers, and one of the things that lots of you have been asking for has been a tethering solution for the iPhone…” he’ll then smile and dramatically pause as everyone starts clapping, “…so today we’re pleased to announce that in order to bring tethering to you, beginning in January 2010, the iPhone will also be offered by America’s largest 3G network—”
Everyone will again begin clapping, cheering, weeping, and feinting, temporarily interrupting Jobs’ sentence, so that he has to shout the last word.
He’ll smile. Nod, knowingly and wait for the clapping to die down. Then he’ll go through discussing how great it will be to have both Verizon and AT&T as partners so that the iPhone experience can be enjoyed by more people than ever before.
Then, as everyone thinks it’s all over, he’ll say, “Oh, but there’s
One More Thing!”
“Woz, can you bring that prototype over?”
“Sure thing, Steve.” Everyone’s attention will shift to Woz at the back of the stage as he opens up the satchel on the front of his Segway and pulls out what looks to be possibly a smallish notebook or a netbook. He’ll walk over to Jobs and hand the device to Jobs, who will be turned around from the audience, partially blocking the view. We’ll see him take the device. Shake Woz’s hand, walk Woz back over to his Segway, and wave him off the stage as Woz drives the Segway off, waving his hand, and saying “You guys are going to love this one!”
Steve will turn and smile to the crowd, hiding what he has in his hands. We’ll see him poking at it and then suddenly the video chat invitation will pipe back up on Schiller’s iMac. Schiller will accept the call and Steve Jobs will say, “Hi, Phil, it’s me again. Woz brought me this!”
He spins around, no longer hiding it, but holding it up for everyone to see, as it displays Schiller’s smiling face on a 10-inch screen and the audience’s reaction is displayed on the screen behind Jobs.
“The all new Apple iTablet!”
Okay, so that last prediction might be unrealistic and not be exactly how it happens, but it sounds pretty darn good, right?
My real predictions:
- iPhone Video—Available immediately.
- A $99 4GB iPhone Video—Why is everyone freaking out about the Financial Times story about this? Didn’t we already know this was happening thanks to the Fido leak?
- iPhone OS 3.0 Update—Available immediately
- Mac OS X Snow Leopard—Available in early July
- New version of iTunes—Available for free download later that day. Breaks Palm Pre syncing with iTunes.
- iPhone Video coming to Verizon Wireless in January 2010.
- A week or two after WWDC, the Apple Store will go down and come back up with new spec bumps on the entire MacBook lineup.
UPDATE: Other people’s predictions about the iPhone Video can be found here. McCracken provides four reasons why he doesn’t think the iPhone Video will be released on Monday. His first reason argues that Apple could never get FCC approval in time, but Apple’s probably already begun the process if it isn’t already finalized. McCracken is overlooking that all Apple would really have to do to get FCC approval without anyone noticing is file a letter requesting confidentiality and have that approved, just like they did for the iPhone 3G (link to PDF).
ANOTHER UPDATE (JUNE 7, 2009)—It appears that this may be a picture of the new iPhone Video.
The picture comes from French website NowhereElse and then Engadget blogged about it, and then everyone else did. Notice the matte black finish and no exposed metal parts. Nice. EVEN NEWER UPDATE: The image above is a fake. Someone admitted to Photoshopping it.
Also, John Gruber from Daring Fireball has added his predictions. I think he’s wrong about the $99 8GB version being the current model. I also think it will be called iPhone Video rather than iPhone 3GS. Code names are just that: code names. Branding and marketing rarely have anything to do with code.