June 2, 2014— -- Apple fans are hoping for a major announcement from the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference this week –- but they’re not holding their breath.
For decades, the WWDC has been a space where new ideas were born, and Apple introduced game-changing products such as the Mac Pro and the iPhone 4. But this year, as in recent years, rumors are swirling that there won’t be any announcements of new hardware, only software.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a ‘one more thing’ at the end,” said digital consultant Stephen Beck, referencing the way late Apple CEO Steve Jobs would surprise the audience with a major announcement.
“That’s where any hardware discussion would come in. It would be kind of interesting to see if they resurrect that kind of surprise,” Beck said. “But my expectation is that most of today is going to be a very focused software discussion.”
The company has been saving its big product launches for other events. That includes the iPad in 2010, Apple’s last truly revolutionary product.
This week, techies can expect to learn about Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 8, as well as a new fitness app called Healthbook and possibly a mobile payment feature and home automation system that lets iPhone users sync appliances like lights and security systems to their phones, according to CNET.
But first, here’s a look at some major announcements from past WWDCs:
1998 – Apple Introduces Mac OS X
Steve Jobs announced Apple’s first version of the operating system we know today, called Mac OS X, at the WWDC in 1998. Since then, the company’s OS has gone through several updates -– and name changes.
2005 – Apple’s Switch to Intel Processors
Seven years later, Jobs made a major announcement: Apple was switching from PowerPC to Intel processors, ending its relationship with IBM.
“Why are we doing this? Because we want to be making the best computers for our customer looking forward,” he told the audience during his keynote in 2005.
The Intel processors, which are still in use by Apple today, are more powerful and perform better, Jobs explained.
2006 – Apple Announces Mac Pro
This changed Apple’s desktop market forever.
The Mac Pro replaced the brand’s Power Mac G5 and was powered by Intel processors.
Apple executive Phil Schiller introduced it at the 2006 WWDC, and it’s still Apple’s go-to desktop.
2010 – Apple Introduces the iPhone 4
Sure, we already knew about the iPhone 3, but the iPhone 4 is what set the stage for what we use today.
Today’s iPhone 5 has the same rectangular, thin shape and metallic look –- while the original iPhone had a curved, plastic back.
Tech blogs have been buzzing about the possibility that Apple will announce an iPhone 6 today.