Apple generally likes to focus on software announcements at the Worldwide Developers Conference, but last year’s edition saw an unusually large number of new hardware products unveiled in early June in San Jose, including the first ever HomePod, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the iMac Pro, as well as refreshed iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
With WWDC 2018 right around the corner, Loup Ventures managing partner and ex-Piper Jaffray research analyst Gene Munster is ready to share his final predictions, calling for a single “hardware-related announcement” on Monday, June 4.
Forget about the iPhone SE 2, which will probably come further down the line. Expect “Siri integration with Beats” to grab the spotlight instead, as Apple is forecasted to “advance its digital assistant ambitions” without “compromising” HomePod’s $349 price point.
The possibility of a lower-cost smart speaker to compete closer to Amazon’s Echo Plus has long been discussed by various analysts and tipsters, but it’s only very recently that the Beats branding topic came up.
Munster seems to support the theory of a Siri-controlled $250 Beats “option”, although the source of this information/prediction is unclear. The other five expected WWDC 2018 announcements are all software-related, according to the reputable VC firm co-founder, including a no doubt headline-making iOS 12 preview, an as-yet unnamed macOS update, “subtle” new AR dev tools, some AI extensions, and the ability to control navigation, email and other “domains” by asking Siri’s help.
That sounds a little underwhelming, but maybe it’s not the full story after all.