WWDC 2013 is just a week away, and as the opening keynote approaches, analysts and experts have been voicing their opinions about what we could see from Apple during the event. A team of analysts from Goldman Sachs, led by Bill Shope, has shared its WWDC 2013 wishlist, which includes the highly anticipated iOS 7 overhaul, Siri and iCloud improvements and "game-changing" iOS services.
"Other than some refreshes for the Mac line, expectations for earnings-moving product releases appear to be appropriately muted heading to this event," the Goldman Sachs team has said (via Business Insider). "Nevertheless, we continue to believe that WWDC could be a positive catalyst for the story, as the reveal of iOS 7 and enhancements to iOS services could begin to change the broad perception that Apple's ability to innovate has been impaired."
Goldman Sachs wants to see a complete user interface overhaul of iOS 7 unveiled at WWDC. The analysts could be in luck, as it is widely expected that Jony Ive has overseen a redesign of the mobile operating system, which runs on iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices.
It's believed that iOS 7 will ditch the skeuomorphic design elements in favour of a flatter, more minimalist style. "These changes are unlikely to dramatically alter the way users interact with their iPhones and iPads, but could greatly change the look and feel of iOS devices; indeed, as the front faces of most mobile devices are increasingly dominated by touch screens, the software UI is likely to become paramount for aesthetic differentiation."
Goldman Sachs notes that an overhaul of the user interface alone may not be enough to excite Apple investors, so suggests that Apple should also introduce some more substantial updates to iOS with the next iteration. "In particular, we believe iCloud and Siri are in need of an overhaul as competitors seem to be surpassing what were once novel enhancements to the iOS platform."
In addition to the Siri and iCloud improvements, Goldman Sachs has added "game-changing innovations in iOS services" to its Wishlist for WWDC this year. The analysts are hoping to see the introduction of the rumoured 'iRadio' music streaming service, as well as a mobile payment service. "While we suspect this is still an early-stage project for Apple, enhancements to the company's Passbook service could provide some colour on Apple's intentions here."
"In addition, we believe the potential addition of a fingerprint sensor for the next version of the iPhone could be specifically targeted at supporting payment services on the new device."
"Overall, we continue to believe Apple needs to launch a series of successful new iOS products this fall for the stock to fully begin its recovery," Goldman Sachs concludes. "But in the meantime, the software and service enhancement at WWDC should service as positive catalysts and important indicators of Apple's longer-term technology focus and direction."
What are you hoping Apple will announce at WWDC this year? Let us know in the comments section below on Twitter. Meanwhile, you can also read our round up of WWDC speculation here.