Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Steve Jobs Says He’ll Show Off Apple’s “iCloud” June 6

Apple just packed a lot of information into a four-paragraph press release:

  • Steve Jobs, who is still on medical leave, will be appearing at the company’s developers conference next week.
  • Apple will use the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote to show off Lion, its new desktop operating system.
  • It will also show off iOS 5, its new mobile operating system.
  • And it will also show off “iCloud,” which it describes as “Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.”

None of that is shocking news, because much of it syncs up with the annual pre-WWDC speculation. Then again, most Apple pre-event speculation is wrong, so it’s nice of Apple to give us some guidance this time around.

I’m not terribly comfortable with Apple Kremlinology, but that said: It’s worth noting that Apple doesn’t say that Jobs will deliver the keynote, only that the CEO and a “team of Apple executives” will “kick off” the conference.  So that could mean all sorts of things, presentation-wise.

I also need to eat some crow. Last month I predicted that Apple would avoid using the word “cloud” to describe its cloud service, because the term “doesn’t mean squat to regular humans.”

And if Twitter allowed for longer messages, I’d have argued that since companies like Microsoft were using “cloud” in their marketing campaigns, Apple would have even less interest in using the word. Whoops.

And as for iCloud itself: We know that Apple intends to offer a cloud-based music locker service, which will offer more capabilities than the ones that Amazon and Google have launched. And that earlier this month it had signed up most, but not all, of the rights holders it would need to make that service work.

But that doesn’t mean Apple will roll out the service on Monday–it could simply announce it. Or it could wait until it has all its paperwork signed before it announces it at all.

In any case, it’s very unlikely that iCloud will only be about music. Apple has spent a lot of time and money building out an infrastructure that will be able to handle much more than an MP3 streaming service. My hunch is that the company will roll out whatever it has planned in stages. And that next week will just be a first glimpse.

Full text:

Apple to Unveil Next Generation Software at Keynote Address on Monday, June 6

CUPERTINO, California—May 31, 2011—Apple® CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software–Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers. Mac® developers will see and learn how to develop world-class Mac OS X Lion applications using its latest technologies and capabilities. Mobile developers will be able to explore the latest innovations and capabilities of iOS and learn how to greatly enhance the functionality, performance and design of their apps. All developers can bring their code to the labs and work with Apple engineers.

For more details, visit the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 website at

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik