WWDC 2018

Are the keys on your MacBook Pro falling off? Has your first-generation iPad Air slowed to a halt? If you were hoping to see new hardware products revealed at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), you might be out of luck, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

For this year’s event, Apple might forgo new hardware announcements and instead stick with software.

The company is working on refreshes to the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook with new Intel Corp. chips, and is planning a new low-cost laptop to succeed MacBook Air. But those won’t be ready until later this year, according to people familiar with the plans. Apple is also working on a redesigned iPad Pro line with Face ID, but that’s also expected later.

In doing so, the company might anger some would-be buyers, at least in the short term, but set itself up for a huge holiday quarter.

So what does Apple plan on unveiling next week instead of new hardware?

New augmented reality tools, for one. Bloomberg believes Apple will announce “ARKit 2.0,” which will add the ability for users to play AR games against each other in the same virtual environment.

Gurman explains:

Another mode allows objects to be dropped into an area and virtually remain in place. The features will be a prelude of what’s to come from an Apple AR headset planned for as early as 2020.

Apple could also announce a new initiative dubbed Digital Health, which is a series of tools to help you monitor how much time you spend on your devices and inside of individual applications. As former Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive who helped create the original iPhone and iPod said in a recent interview:

We need to have tools and data to allow us to understand how we consume digital media. We need to get finer-grain language and start to understand that an iPhone is just a refrigerator, it’s not the addiction.

Apple is also likely to reveal plans to further integrate iOS and macOS. As previously rumored, this could mean allowing developers to create iOS apps that also run on Macs.

What about new hardware? Gurman expects Apple to reveal updated versions of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac this year. However, none of those will be ready for its close-up next week.

If you’re in desperate need of new hardware, the likelihood of Apple not announcing new goodies next week is certainly frustrating. However, the introduction of exciting new software features for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS could lessen the disappointment. Regardless, September isn’t that far away.

As a reminder, the WWDC keynote address begins on Monday, June 4, beginning at 10 a.m. PDT. As usual, iDB will provide full coverage of the event.

What do you hope to see at WWDC 2018? Will you be upset with no new hardware announcements? Start a discussion below.