It has become a yearly tradition for Apple chief executive Steve Jobs to come out during the company's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) and introduce the company's next iPhone.
However, it doesn't look like that will be the case this time around. While the iPhone 5 could still come, many are predicting the pre-announcement of what will be announced was a matter of curbing people's expectations.
They're definitely setting expectations, Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co, said to The Wall St. Journal. One analyst firm, Zacks Equity Research, does say Apple could swerve consumers and still introduce the new iPhone.
Apple has always maintained the utmost secrecy with respect to any product launches. Therefore, while it looks at this point like the pace of innovation is losing steam, we are taking a cautiously optimistic stand, the company said in a blog.
What is certain is Apple is introducing iCloud, the company's cloud services offering. Apple will follow in the footsteps of Amazon and others offering a space to store your data. What kind of data Apple will store is up for debate; but many say a virtual music library storage service is likely. Most believe Apple will have an iCloud storage system, which will allow people to store music and then sync it automatically to any Apple related device.
Other valuable data, such as TV shows and various iOS apps, could be a part of the storage service. This would allow Apple to free up processing speed for the iPhone.
We also believe that data center expansion will allow Apple to add more value-added features to the iPhone, while assigning the task of storing and processing applications to the cloud. Transfer of the storage function to the cloud would also be beneficial for Apple, since this could lower hardware costs. Device speed would also increase, Zacks said.
Pricing will be a hot topic for the iCloud service. Amazon set the industry standard when it released its cloud service, giving away 5 GB of free service, which can go up to 20 GB of free storage with the purchase of one mp3 album. Beyond the 20 GB, storage can be bought in intervals of 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, 500GB, and 1,000GB, with each costing $1 per gigabye. Thus you get 1,000 GB for $1,000.
Along with iCloud, Apple is also set to introduce the next version of the Mac operating system, Lion as well as the next iOS. Lion is eighth major release of Apple's PC operating system and iOS 5 is the fifth major release of the smartphone/iPad operating system.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.