Apple's annual developer's conference is set to begin in a week in San Francisco's Moscone Center, so let's see you should expect to see and hear at the event.
Gartner's analysts anticipate that Apple will offer the developer release of iOS 7 during the vent. Another possibility is an updated developer release of OS X, but that is not a given. Although the possibility for any new devices announcements are weak, we may see a new service announced, such as a streaming music service.
This will also be the first update with Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, at the helm. His arrival could influence the design of iOS 7, which is expected to be much more minimal and cleaner with most, if not all, of the skeuomorphism gone from the OS. Additional functionality is also expected as new APIs are incorporated into the release, but the focus will be on the look and feel of the user experience.
Although Android has more market share, iOS makes the lion's share of profit in the smartphone market, has more applications, practically dominates the media tablet market and has an increasingly important role in the enterprise. According to Gartner, Apple needs to continue to advance the platforms, and eventually they will need to introduce a new product category that is well accepted by the market. And the more time that passes before this happens, the more that the industry will question Apple's ability to innovate.
Apple is challenged from Android and Google will slowly gain additional share in the tablet market that will allow developers to make more money from the Android platform. This means that Apple needs to further cultivate developer relationships and make the interaction with the company as frictionless as possible. Apple might also need to open up more services to the developers, such as Siri, to generate additional innovation.
Apple is also overdue in updating iCloud, at a time where Google, Microsoft and other vendors have their own cloud content services. Gartner's analysts claim that Apple needs to articulate the benefits of iCloud to the typical Apple customer in a manner that will generate more enthusiasm for Apple products. Apple also needs to fix the issues that developers have encountered with iCloud - iCloud's capabilities are reportedly inconsistent and difficult for developers to incorporate into their applications. For iCloud to be successful, it needs to work flawlessly for both Apple products and services, as well as third party applications and services.
Apple should retain its focus on delivering compelling products and services to the consumer. This means fixing the issues that the current services have while improving them. Additionally Apple needs to demonstrate that it still has the ability to innovate and invent products that consumers don't know that they need or want yet.