Gaming WWDC: A New iPhone–But Not on Verizon

Published on May 26, 2010
by John Paczkowski

Now that a pair of lost next-generation iPhone prototypes has robbed Apple of the element of surprise, the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference is likely to be a “non-event” for its stock.

So says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who doesn’t expect the WWDC to have much in the way of big “Oh, One More Thing” moments. According to Munster, Apple will probably announce a fourth-generation iPhone at the conference, and the device will probably look a lot like the prototypes we saw earlier this spring.

“Consistent with recent media reports, we expect the new iPhone to feature a front-facing camera for video conferencing, along with a new, thinner design, an improved rear camera, and better battery life, with higher capacity (32GB/64GB) at the current $199/$299 price points,” Munster writes. “We expect the new version to be popular among current iPhone 3G owners (a 2 year-old device) with a significantly different design and feature set (unlike the 3GS).”

The company is also likely to offer an update on iPad sales. Since that device’s launch in April, Apple (AAPL) has announced iPad sales figures three times. WWDC would be a perfect time to do so again.

And Apple may offer a peek at the next version of Mac OS. “Apple may choose to provide a limited demo of the next version of Mac OS X (10.7) at WWDC,” Munster says.

“Software is a key differentiator for Apple but the Mac OS has not seen the same level of innovation as iPhone software in recent years,” the analyst adds. “With the next version of Mac OS X, we expect Apple to bring some of the same innovation to the Mac platform. Multi-touch technology, for example could be a key feature of Mac OS 10.7.”

But beyond these offerings, don’t expect much. As for rumors that WWDC will see the announcement of a Verizon (VZ) iPhone: Don’t pay them much heed.

Certainly, Munster doesn’t put much faith in them. “We believe it is unlikely that the next generation iPhone will be available at Verizon (or Sprint) at launch,” he says. “Rather, it is more likely that it remains exclusively available at AT&T in the US at launch.”

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