By Jason Wong
This week, starting today, the tech world will be tuned in to the Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Many will be looking for CEO Tim Cook to announce the next wave of revolutionary products coming out of Cupertino; while some will be looking for any signs that Apple is stumbling in the post-Steve Jobs era.
For those working in or around the enterprise mobility space, here is what I expect and wish for in key Apple product announcements for this market.
The universal expectation is that Apple will announce the iPhone 5 in some fashion at WWDC–whether it will actually be called that is another matter (see iPad 3 naming controversy). There are whispers that this new iPhone 5 will be a bigger form factor with a four-inch screen to equal those of popular Android devices from the likes of Samsung and Motorola. Personally, I like today’s iPhone screen size just fine, but many others want that extra screen real estate – maybe to better aim those Angry Birds!
For the enterprise, a larger iPhone 5 will add more challenges to mobile app development. Compared to the vast variations of Android device sizes and resolutions, the iPhone has stayed fairly uniform since launching 2007 – only adding high-resolution Retina Display in the iPhone 4. There may be enhancements in the Apple xCode SDK to help develop for two iPhone screen sizes, but I expect device fragmentation to become a growing issue for enterprise mobile app developers. I wish this were not the case, but fortunately cross-platform development tools, like that from Antenna, can help developers tackle this challenge more easily.
The new iPad (AKA, iPad 3) only came out a few months ago so there isn’t expected to be much new news on this product line. However, there are still a faction of people looking for Apple to announce a mini-iPad – a version with a seven-inch screen akin to the Amazon Kindle Fire. I’ll just say that to me this is stupid. As an avid iPad user, I find the size to be just perfect. Any smaller and you compromise the essence of the device. Just because the Kindle Fire sold well as a seven-inch device, does not mean that the iPad needs to mimic it. I don’t expect Apple to announce a mini-iPad and I wish those asking for it would just go buy a Kindle Fire!