Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock has increased by almost 40% since last year’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), and now it’s that time of year again. The conference kicks off next Monday, starting with the keynote address at 10 a.m. Pacific. Last year investors harped on an apparent lack of innovation at the iPhone maker, but this year, sentiment appears to have shifted.
Apple expected to overhaul iOS 8
In a report dated May 27, 2014, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White shared his expectations for this year’s WWDC. It’s been seven months since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s last event, and he’s expecting much of WWDC to focus on updates in software and “innovations that expand the reach of its digital matrix and build the foundation for exciting new product launches this September.”
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) typically shows off the next version of iOS at WWDC, and it’s expected to be no different this year. While last year’s iOS 7 focused on major aesthetic changes, White believes iOS 8 will expand “the use cases and experience of iOS devices.”
Specifically, the analyst expects to see more health-related apps unveiled at WWDC this year because he expects Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to launch the rumored iWatch this fall. He’s also expecting more improvements in Siri, iCloud, Maps and other aspects of iOS.
Potential announcements at WWDC
White thinks it’s possible that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could unveil its acquisition of Beats Electronics, the company co-founded by Dr. Dre. The video of the rapper apparently talking about the acquisition may have caused Apple to shy away from the deal, although White thinks that if it did end up happening, it would make sense or Apple to introduce the new team members at WWDC.
Another possibility the analyst considered was whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) star designer Jony Ive will show off a new OS X redesigned by him. White notes that Ive has become more involved in software and was responsible for last year’s major aesthetic overhaul of iOS. As a result, he thinks it’s possible that OS X did receive an overhaul courtesy of Ive and that Apple will show it off at WWDC.
Any Apple hardware expected?
Of course it’s highly unlikely that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will show off any mobile hardware at WWDC, as both the iPhone 6 and the rumored iWatch are expected to be shown off in the fall. However, he believes the Mac update will be shown off again this year, along with a possible refresh of the iMac or the MacBook Air / Pro.