Is it the upcoming WWDC 2011? Is it the 10th Anniversary of the Apple Stores? Or just coincident? There tons of new rumors about the next steps and product releases of Apple. The chatter in the Apple rumor mill has intensified over the last days. I expect that rumors will even more intensify as we get closer to June 6, the launch of WWDC. This report pulls all recent rumors together to provide the complete picture.
Latest Apple Rumors:
1) Apple 10th Anniversary of Apple Stores
On May 19th Apple (tomorrow) Apple has the 10th anniversary of launch their retail stores. The first Apple Store opened on May 19th 2001 and Apple has now over 300 stores world-wide. Over the last days rumors of secret activities at the Apple Stores have appeared. Employees work extra shifts and on Sunday is an all-hands meeting. Additionally there is a redecoration with requiring black curtains over the weekend. Apple is expected to launch either a new product or a NFC payment system. It could be under the slogan Apple Store 2.0. Update: More details about Apple Store 2.0 surfaced.
2) Apple NFC Payment
Early iPhone 5 rumors have said that the iPhone 5 will have NFC (Near Field Communication). Over the last weeks that changed and NFC is not expected to be released in September. Now we see rumors that Apple is about to launch an NFC payment system at the Apple Stores. Without a NFC enabled consumer device this would not make sense. Best guess is that Apple launches an NFC iPhone accessory like the already available iCarte from Wireless Dynamics.
3) iPhone 5 / iPhone 4S
The scope of the 2011 iPhone is a moving target. First we had to cope with the information that Apple is not launching a new iPhone in June like the did in the past years. The iPhone 5 was then predicted to have LTE, NFC, dual-core A5 CPU, 8MP camera and more. Now we are down to an iPhone 4S with no LTE and no NFC. The iPhone 4S will have the dual-core A5 CPU and a 8MP camera. It could have a slightly larger edge-to-edge screen and a dual mode communication chip (GSM and CDMA). The iPhone 5 with LTE and NFC is seen now in 2012. Of course the next iPhone runs iOS 5 and will have iCould services, but we expect Apple to tell us all about iOS 5 and iCloud it at the WWDC 2011.
4) 2011 MacBook Air
The sexy new MacBook Air Apple launched last Fall is getting updated as early as next month. A new report from Taiwan suggests that Apple gives the new MacBook Air the Intel Sandy Bridge treatment and also adding the Thunderbolt port.
5) Apple Back To School 2011
The highly anticipated Apple Back To School promotion is expected to launch as early as next week. Apple has been launching the special deal for students at the same time frame over the last years. A new rumor confirms that Apple is indeed about to announce the new Back To School deal for 2011. We still do not know what Apple will offer, but it could be yet again a free iPod touch.
Also in the pipeline are new Thunderbolt equipped MacBooks, Mac minis and Mac Pros. These new models are expected within the next months. Also a huge mystery is still around the Apple cloud services. It is going to be an exciting summer of Apple rumors.