Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference for 2012 has just been announced, but what are we likely to see? Will this be the first keynote taken by Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook and what will he have for us? My money's on the next-generation MacBook Pro 2012.
At the last WWDC, Steve Jobs presented OS X Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud. The three were very important updates for Apple. Lion started to morph into iOS. iOS got new important features. And more importantly, iCloud tied together both the Mac and the iOS devices over the Internet, a fundamental shift in Apple's thinking.
In 2012 there will be software updates too, but they're unlikely to be huge. We already know about OS X Mountain Lion. We will see an update on that. As for iOS, it is still too early to tell if we are going to get a peek at iOS 6. Most likely, there will be a minor iOS update, which will be released with the iPhone 5 later in the summer.
By the way, if you are expecting iPhone 5, you are probably going to be disappointed. But hopefully, Scott Forstall will compensate your dismay by wearing stitched leather pants, cowboy boots and a poncho to match his latest skeuomorphic apptrocity (one can dream!)
But WWDC 2012 would be a perfect opportunity to showcase Apple's next-generation MacBook Pros. Not only it is a favourite product for developers, but it's one of Apple's star products for consumers.
There's precedent, too; Apple announced the unibody MacBook Pros in 2009, a design that has been used until now. At the time, this was a major announcement. Apple touted the unibody MacBooks as the most advanced notebook in the planet, thanks to its unique aluminium manufacturing technique that has since been replicated by other manufacturers.
The next-gen MacBook Pro will be a big aesthetic and functional jump too. In fact, it will be a more major advance than even the unibody was. Expect a product very similar to the Air, which will probably get an update too.
Another point in favour of this kind of announcement was the release of Intel's Ivy Bridge, which was just this last Monday. Ivy Bridge will be the heart of Apple's new notebooks. It will be crucial to achieve their sleek profile while maintaining battery life.
So yes, all the stars and planets are aligned. If there is no surprise announcement between now and June 11, WWDC 2012 may well turn out to be the developer conference of the MacBook Pro again.