According to Gizmodo, the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) will be a software-only event. This is interesting because Apple has usually used the event to showcase upcoming hardware innovations, including iPhone and MacBook enhancements, and to showcase competitive advantages over the likes of Samsung.
This shift in strategy demonstrates the importance that Apple is putting on direct user experience, as compared to the aesthetic focus during the Steve Jobs era. For a number of years, the business has been plagued with accusations it is lacking in the industry transforming innovations that rebuilt its tattered image. The iPod, iPhone and others, paved the way for a complete rethink as to what technology can do, and how it should interact with people on a day-to-day basis.
Steve Jobs’ departure, and passing of the baton to Tim Cook, meant that the business had to rethink what innovation actually meant. Intelligently, rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Cook decided to watch and wait for another chance to innovate. This opportunity may have arisen thanks to a stagnation in mobile user experience, and limitations with regards to cross-device access. In other words, there have been no significant innovations regarding mobile operating systems, and no enhancements when it comes to how we handoff information between our various devices.
This year’s WWDC will be an opportunity for Cook to demonstrate his core expertise – user experience innovation, programming improvements and back-end enhancements that can transform the way we use Apple products. It will be hoped by many that the conference will be an opportunity for Apple to once again take the lead in ” what’s next.”
But with many pundits already preparing a scathing review of the conference, and many more voicing their displeasure that there will be no hardware launches, the pressure will be palpable in the Apple executive offices.