(Updated) Thoughts on WWDC – Why Apple Have to Make 2009 Count

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Today’s WWDC (World Wide Developer’s Conference 10 AM PST) will usher in a new wave of enthusiasm for Apple’s devices. Positive or not, charges will be set under both Apple’s faithful and its heretics alike. Last year saw the App Store’s maiden voyage and the launch of the iPhone 3G; 2008′s conference was one of the most historic and revolutionary events in Apple’s life. Now, with a mature Leopard in the innards of every Mac and the iDevice, they will need to do the impossible yet again: wow the ever-expectant crowd.

Apple’s tenacity to produce hype creates bubbles around their biggest announcements and conferences. Often, however, human expectations more than anything else dilute Apple’s pithy events. No matter how good the announcements at WWDC - people will sigh at Apple’s dispatches. Hold those tears for now as in a few short hours, we will see how prepared Apple are for this summer of perfect storms.

My prophesy: 2009′s WWDC will not disappoint. Much. Why? This year is not Apple’s year. Last weekend, the Palm Pre launched amidst a crescendo of pent up fanfare and speculation: will it be the iPhone killer that Palm Pundits and Apple haters claim? Doubtful considering Palm’s recent history of fails and the rumoured poor build quality. At the worst, will it be the first viable alternative?

Android might have a few things to say about that and Nokia are not sitting on their thumbs waiting for Apple’s brushed-aluminium wall to fall around them. The iPhone’s competition has strident gurus who cast spells dooming the iPhone as tired and proprietary, but they cannot hack at its roots.

The iPhone is still the best media player of any phone. The 3G version squashed the hiss issue and the silly counter-sunk headphone port. It maintains a great line-out function and channel separation that is top of its class. As an evolving PDA, it will birth unparalleled OS and hardware integration impending WWDC. The App Store has never been stronger and will only bolster its holdings with the release of OS 3.0. And last but not least, the iPhone is the de facto design standard for usability in a touch-screen enabled handset. It is not the best pocketable phone in the world nor the sleekest. It does not allow you to add to its internal memory nor will it speak nicely with all manner of Bluetooth devices. But, it is the easiest to use, most versatile smartphone on the market and it is about to sprout past its yearling status into adolescence, craving more and more features and drawing customer’s attentions more than ever.

So what have Apple to be afraid of? Well, WWDC falls during a crowded summer of technology conferences, competitive releases from many players and Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7. WWDC won’t be able to attract the same press percentage nor hot-and-sweaty eagerness paraded by fanboys as other years simple because it brings just another iPhone and just another OS to the table. 

Apple have to make this WWDC special or they will lose the game of hype that they created back in a sunny garage in California. 

TouchMyApps will be monitoring WWDC live via Arstechnica and ready with mirth, pith and froth of our own ;)

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Now that WWDC’s keynote is over and developers are getting their sweaty hands dirty with the OS 3.0′s new featureset and possibly hands-on with the iPhone 3GS, it is time to reflect on the Apple’s 2009 WWDC – Rundown of the Big Event (iPhone OS 3.0 – New iPhone 3GS). Apple certainly did pull out a big WWDC. Leopard is looking great and with a pricetag of only 29$, Microsoft’s 300$ plus OS is looking more and more the last ditch effort in stemming the tide of unease around their slack programming.

That said, Windows 7 is a great product that I have beta tested for a while. It is easily leagues better than Vista, but will also carry the price-tag to match. For those who got suckered into buying Vista, Windows 7 may not be the best purchase as it is simply too pricey to add to an expensive Vista.

Of course, OS 3.0 is going to be sweet and issued to eager 3G and iPod Touch users on 17 June. I am looking forward to landscape editing, spotlight and cut/copy/paste across all applications. 

Apple, while I am disappointed in your butchering of the MacBook Pro, you have done well with your software and the new iPhone even looks decent.

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