The worldwide developers’ conference is Apple’s annual event to meet with engineers from around the world to host software development sessions and Apple-led workshops. Essentially, for those taking part, it’s a massive networking opportunity. For the rest of us, however it is an opportunity to find out what updates Apple has in store for its software for the year ahead. We don’t expect this year to come with any new surprises, but we could see Tim Cook break tradition by introducing the SE 2 with all the speculation currently surrounding the device.
Historically, the focus point of the WWDC event has been the iOS update announcement. Every year, we get a new number. In 2012 iOS 6 was announced. In 2017 we got iOS 11. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what we’re in for this year: iOS 12. The major update this year which is already confirmed actually relates to apps, and how they function between devices.
The new Mac OS 10.14 and iOS 12 updates will allow applications to work identically between devices. So your iPhone apps will be compatible with your Mac and vice versa (we don’t know if this relates to third-party apps).
Along with the compatibility update, we fully expect the iOS 12 to be heavily iPhone X focused. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the iPhone X design format will become the new normal for Apple iPhones. Therefore, in preparation for new device launches in September, we would be surprised not to see design updates, advanced Animoji and iPhone X-only compatible updates.
The Watch OS updates look to be following the same format as the iOS updates, a new one launched at the WWDC every year. Last year we had the Watch OS 4 launch, so this year we should see the Watch OS 5. The biggest rumour around OS 5 is the introduction of new, possibly even third-party watch faces. Last year Apple partnered with Disney to bring us Mickey Mouse and Toy Story faces which were a pleasant change, but rarely used. We hope the new update brings a broader range of stylish faces. Apart from style, Watch OS 5 will probably continue to improve the Apple Watch series 3 cellular functions.
Now for the biggest rumour surrounding WWDC 2018, the iPhone SE 2. It would be a fairly dramatic break in tradition for Apple as their WWDC event hasn’t unveiled an iPhone since the iPhone 4 in 2010. It has, however, more recently unveiled high-end products like the iMacs, MacBooks and iPad Pro’s, so a low-end (by Apple’s standard) device launch at WWDC would be unheard of.
If an iPhone SE 2 were to be released in June, what would it be like? As is the demand from certain Apple lovers, the SE 2 would be smaller, and no doubt cheaper than any of the iPhones launched in 2017, as these were the keys factors to the original SE’s success.
Apple products are notoriously high-end which makes the brand rather exclusive. For some lovers of the brand, their devices are simply unaffordable. The SE range allows customers to be part of that exclusive culture without it costing an arm and a leg.
Obviously an SE 2 wouldn’t give the same benefits/performance as an iPhone 8 for instance; the cheaper price will inevitably mean less content. Many renders suggest the SE 2 will have a flat iPhone X style screen (see above). We would love to see this but are sceptical of its legitimacy. A home-button free SE would mean it would need Face ID – meaning it would need the same front-facing cameras as the iPhone X which results in the device having additional benefits to the iPhone 8…the more expensive device. So why would Apple make their cheaper device more appealing than their more expensive device?
Based on this, we’d expect an iPhone X-style SE to be launched in September along with the flagship devices, so to not take any of the more premium customers away from the more expensive devices. If the SE 2 was to be launched next week, we would expect it to still have a home button in line with the iPhone 8/8 Plus.
Explore the range of new iPhone SE products here.