Apple’s worldwide developer conference is a week and a half away.
While Apple isn’t expected to reveal a new iPhone, this is arguably the biggest event of the year for Apple.
Its these software platforms that truly differentiate Apple from its rivals. Yes, the hardware is great, but it’s the software that makes the biggest difference.
In anticipation of the event Shaw Wu at Sterne Agee has a note out this morning previewing what he expects to hear.
Here’s the exciting stuff from Wu’s note:
- New Greatly Enhanced Maps. What we are picking from our industry checks is that the new Maps app will see a significant upgrade, namely 3D capability. From our understanding, it is internally developed and will be radically different and better than existing Maps from others. While a lot of focus will likely be on how this replaces Google Maps that currently powers every iOS device shipped (365 million iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch units as of the March quarter), we hear the key reason why AAPL decided to do this is that it believes it can deliver a much better user experience in Maps, not to mention provide further differentiation for its mobile devices business.
- Enhanced Camera and Photos Apps. The other key feature we hear will see a notable upgrade is its camera and photos apps. Currently, one can use the Photo Stream feature to share photos with iCloud. Many users still opt to use third-party apps like Instagram. We hear the new apps will allow more powerful sharing of photos.
- New Macs. In terms of hardware announcements, we anticipate several Macs could see refreshes, namely, iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and potentially Mac mini and Mac Pro. These will likely see upgrades to INTC’s latest Ivy Bridge architecture which brings more performance per watt and enhanced graphics. The other big upgrade will likely be new HD retina displays.