Monday June 5, 2017
Welcome to our TOPLive blog of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where the maker of iPhones and Macs tells its community of programmers and acolytes what is coming up. We'll go live at 9:50 a.m. PT (12:50 p.m. ET) and will continue with news, analysis and market reaction as the event unfolds.
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Hi everyone, I am Mark Gurman and I cover consumer technology for Bloomberg. We're live from WWDC in San Jose, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. Aside from the new iPhone's launch, this is Apple's biggest event of the year. It's going to set the stage for Apple's hardware and software that will hit the market over the next 18 months.
We're expecting Apple, for the first time since 2013, to introduce new hardware products during the event. Here's the hardware we'll be looking for:
- New MacBook Pros with faster Intel chips
- New 12-inch MacBooks with faster Intel chips
- Updated iPad Pros
- Perhaps the Siri Speaker, which we reported has entered production
CEO Tim Cook has for more than a year been showcasing the strength of Apple’s services businesses, such as the App Store and iCloud storage, in part a reflection of a dearth of new blockbuster gadgets and slowing growth for Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone. Now as the device pipeline fills, the company is shining more of the spotlight on hardware to woo the developers needed to create accompanying apps.
Read more here:
Of course, since it's the developers conference, we're also expecting some significant software announcements. We'll be looking for:
- iOS 11, Apple's new software system for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches
- macOS 10.13, the new software for Mac desktops and laptops
- tvOS, a new version of the software running on the Apple TV
- watchOS 4, updates to the software running on the Apple Watch
We'll also be keeping an eye on Apple discussing its existing ecosystems or introducing new ones. Given the recent industry trends and our reporting, we're expecting Apple to devote considerable time to its advances in artificial intelligence. Apple is working on a dedicated hardware chip to handle AI tasks, showing how important the field is. Apple is likely to introduce new technologies so that third-party developers can integrate more AI functionality into their apps.
Apple will also likely talk up its HealthKit efforts -- especially with the new software for the Apple Watch. It's likely that the new Apple Watch software will include additional improvements to fitness tracking and perhaps some new activities (like skiing) for the Apple Watch to monitor.
It's also likely Apple will spend some time discussing its HomeKit efforts, the company's platform for managing smart home devices like connected lights, garage doors, locks, curtains, and thermostat systems. Apple's Siri Speaker will be a piece of hardware that serves as a hub to control all of those devices. So it would make sense for them all to be discussed together.
For those holding out for the iPhone 8, that device won't be coming until later. Apple used to introduce new iPhone hardware at this annual June conference, but it started holding back the new phone introductions to the fall with the 2011 release of the iPhone 4s. However, we may see some hints at the new phone via an updated iOS 11 user interface and new software that could take advantage of such hardware. We'll be sure to flag these hints over the course of the keynote address.
It will also be important for Apple to give an update on its services at the event. It seems likely that the company will discuss its iCloud efforts, an updated version of Apple Music, enhancements to Apple Pay (perhaps peer to peer Venmo-like payments in iMessage), and Maps.
Apple typically gets a 30 percent cut of app sales, and as demand for the iPhone has slackened, that services revenue has gained greater importance. It’s also more profitable than hardware sales, so growing the services arm may boost the valuation of the world’s most highly capitalized company further yet.
The company has been actively working on a pair of moonshots in the fields of autonomous driving and augmented reality. It's unlikely that we'll hear anything on the self-driving car software front, but it's possible we'll get some hints at the company's AR ambitions via some new software enhancements in iOS 11. But don't expect a preview of Apple's AR hardware -- that's still at least a couple of years away.
Apple's growing commitment to augmented reality is readily apparent in its acquisition history, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts John Butler and Yan Liberman. The company has bought several startups to amass the critical technology and talent needed to staff its AR development effort.
Read more here:
A look inside the San Jose McEnery Convention Center as attendees wait to get in:
Bloomberg TV's Cory Johnson is at Apple WWDC in San Jose. Check out his preview of the conference earlier this morning.
Terminal users can click on the image below to play the video. You can also watch it online here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-06-05/what-to-expect-from-apple-s-developer-conference-video
Earlier today, Apple posted a few new features early about upcoming iPad software updates. In store: a new file management application and improved multitasking. The new multitasking feature would allow users to drag content between apps. Both of these features are sure to appeal to business customers.
Apple shares have gained 33 percent this year and touched a record on May 12. As the event is about to start, the shares are down 1.1% to $153.80.
We're here inside the auditorium getting ready for the event to kickoff.
While we're waiting for the event to start, here are some analyst comments from earlier today, including Pacific Crest saying investors are pricing in an "extremely strong" iPhone 8 cycle:
This skit ahead of WWDC seems to borrow a lot from the aesthetic of HBO's Silicon Valley, where Bloomberg's own Emily Chang has made a few guest appearances.
Tim Cook: "It's been 15 years since we held a developer conference in San Jose."
Cook: 16 million registered Apple developers, with 3 million added in the last year. Attendees at this event come from 75 countries. Most student developers attending ever.
Cook: "We have a lot to talk about today. And I do mean a lot." Therefore, Cook won't be giving his usual business and numbers update.
Cook now discussing tvOS, the operating system that powers the Apple TV.
Cook: Amazon Prime Video is coming to the Apple TV later this year.
Cook says more on a new version of tvOS will be introduced later this year. Usually, Apple shows off new tvOS features at this conference, so this is an interesting change.
Cook now discussing the Apple Watch and watchOS, the device's operating system.
Apple Vice President Kevin Lynch now up on stage to discuss new features coming to watchOS 4.
Lynch: Apple Watch face coming that will be powered by Siri. The new watch face shows information like upcoming appointments, traffic from Maps, reminders, photo memories and more. It will update based on the time of the day.
Lynch: New photo watch faces are also coming to the Apple Watch, plus new Toy Story watch faces. Apple is obviously close to Pixar, so this is a natural addition.
Siri updates throughout the day might hint at improved battery life in the next Apple Watch, since this is likely to be energy intensive.
Lynch says new features coming to the Activity app on the Watch:
- New notifications across the day pushing you to close your rings
- Monthly challenges through smart coaching
- Redesigned Workout app to easily navigate between different workout types
- Enhancements to swim tracking in the pool
- New workout type: high intensity training
Lynch: The Apple Watch will be able to pair with gym machines to send data back and forth. This will make for more accurate data. Lynch says this will be supported by companies like StairMaster and Life Fitness. This will start rolling out in the fall.
Lynch: Redesigned Apple Music app coming to the Watch with improved suggestions, album art, and album navigation.
Lynch now showing a demonstration of the new features for the Apple Watch.