Apple going nuts and upgrading everything at WWDC, according to blogs
iPads getting Siri? iPhones getting Facebook? Rumors getting crazy? Find out in this week's roundup.
What if Motorola figured out a way to make a few cents from every incorrect prediction about an Apple product? Would that make Google’s newest acquisition a viable, profitable phone company once more? Just a thought, as we dive into the latest rumors about an Apple product, an Apple software upgrade, an Apple product going prepaid for the first time, and, wait a minute, a leaked ship date for the Galaxy SIII! That counts as diversity in these days of Complete Cupertino Coverage.
Galaxy SIII phones shipping on July 9, at least on Verizon
Source: Droid Life
Details: As the Galaxy SIII goes live for pre-orders on Verizon’s site ($199 for a model with 16 GB onboard storage, $249 for 32 GB), a rumor and a leaked screenshot of an internal Verizon page suggest July 9 as a potential ship date.
Likelihood: Seems pretty likely, around 85-90 percent, given previous rumors and Verizon’s oft-leaked internal sales memos.
*Get excited?: Pretty good price, seemingly good phone, so get your pre-order in if you’re sold on Samsung.
Siri, not just dictation, coming to iPads
Source: 9to5Mac, citing “trusted sources,” of course. Because their strategy of late seems akin to this:
BREAKING: Every conceivable thing that Apple could or will ever ship is being updated at WWDC. (thanks for the tip, @9to5mac!)
— Every Tech Blog (@EveryTechBlog) June 5, 2012
Details: Apple has supposedly been testing a full implementation of its virtual assistant product, Siri, on at least the latest (third-generation) iPad. It would work just as it does on the iPhone 4S, with much the same look and feel, and issues with having the microphone farther from the user seem to be shaken off by 9to5Mac’s sources.
Likelihood: 50-55 percent. You could see Siri as a slow rollout of a product to balance web server loads, and the iPad (at least the latest iPad) as the obvious next phase. Or you could not be that surprised when Apple decides to define Siri as a product people use when they’re away from their more stationary devices.
*Get excited?: I’m excited to tally up the numer of things Apple doesn’t debut at WWDC. But if you have the latest iPad, sure, why not welcome a new way to ask about the weather?
Facebook integrated into iOS 6
Source: TechCrunch, announcing it as something “we’ve learned” and later citing “our sources.”
Details: Just as Twitter was baked deep into iOS 5, so that tweets and Twitter authorizations and photos could be sent out to Twitter from inside other apps, Facebook accounts will be embeded deep into the iPhone and iPad.
Likelihood: Somewhere around 80 percent. The vast majority of iPhone owners have Facebook accounts, and there’s no reason Apple can’t make them easier to access, as with Twitter. But last-minute disagreements about customer privacy and protection could scuttle the deal, as with Apple’s Ping music/social network.
*Get excited?: If you think it’s clunky how you send photos and sign up for apps with Facebook now, then get ready to regain those 5-10 seconds of your life. (Okay, seriously, it’s a nice upgrade, reflexive Facebook snark aside.)
Virgin Mobile to offer no-contract, pay-as-you-go iPhone
Source: MarketWatch, according to “people familiar with (Virigin Mobile’s) plans.”
Details: Virgin Mobile, a pre-paid brand of Sprint Nextel Corp., will be the second, but definitely far larger, carrier to offer the iPhone with a no-contract data plan. Leap Wireless was the first, but Virgin has significantly larger markets and presence.
Likelihood: Very high, maybe 90 percent, given MarketWatch’s Wall Street Journal imprimatur, and the understated nature of the report.
*Get excited?: If you have good Sprint coverage in your area, a pre-paid iPhone, paired with smart data usage habits, could be a pretty smart way to keep costs down.