2014's WWDC was a disappointment for anyone hoping for new hardware — it was a software-only event. Is history going to repeat in 2015?
I don't think so. Two years ago wasn't the first time Apple didn't do any hardware announcement at its Worldwide Developer Conference — though a new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac followed it by a couple of weeks — and it might not be the last. At WWDC 2015, however, I'm rather hoping for a new Mac.
We all want better efficiency because it means more time working and less time charging our laptops.
More specifically, I'm hoping that Apple gives us a look at a new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro that uses a faster version of the Intel Broadwell microprocessor found in the 13-inch model and the MacBook Air. (The Core-M processor that's inside the new MacBook is also a Broadwell design, but a special, ultramobile version codenamed Broadwell-Y).
Broadwell chips aren't markedly faster than the Haswell chips found in most Macs, but they are more efficient. We all want better efficiency because it means more time working and less time charging our laptops.
Beyond that, the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is due for the Force Touch trackpad found on the 13-inch model and the MacBook. I'd love to see it get the new keyboard design found in the MacBook as well, especially if that translates into a thinner, lighter configuration.
I've said a bit about USB-C in the past — the tiny, compact and reversible implementation of USB 3.1 found on the new MacBook. I'm a big proponent of it, even if it causes some short-term discomfort for people who have to buy new cables to connect their gear. Whether it makes it into the next revision of the Retina MacBook Pro isn't something I know, but I'd like to see it happen.
I don't see the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro getting a radical refresh at WWDC.
I don't see the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro getting a radical refresh at WWDC. Nor do I see a lot of significant changes in store for Apple's desktop computers, at least not this June. Part of that is because of Intel's own roadmap for its CPUs, which Apple continues to depend on for the Macintosh.
Apple is midway through its implementation of Broadwell microprocessors: 13-inch MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and the new MacBook all use them, but the 15-inch MacBook Pro, the iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro don't (the Mac Pro is an exception, it uses Intel's beefier server-sized Xeon chip which are typically a generation or more behind).
Intel was very late getting Broadwell to market, later than it intended, because of the new 14 nanometer process used in its manufacturing. Apple still has to adopt the high-powered variants for its faster, more capable Macs. Intel continues to ratchet up production of various versions of Broadwell processors throughout 2015.
Intel's next generation of microprocessors, the Skylake chips, aren't expected to be released to the market until the Intel Developer Forum takes place in August. That far off means I sincerely doubt Apple's going to have anything to show us at WWDC.
Beyond that, we saw a Mac mini refresh last October (along with the introduction of the new 5K iMac), a MacBook Air refresh in March along with the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook.
Is an update to the iMac in the wings for WWDC? How about the Mac Pro, which is using the same processor since it was first introduced in late 2013? What are your guesses for the Mac hardware Apple has planned for WWDC?