As Apple kicks off a much-anticipated developers’ conference Monday in San Francisco, California, much of the buzz is about the possibility of a new iPhone release.
The tech company says it will discuss a new version of software for the revolutionary smartphone, which will let users copy and paste messages, search their iPhones, and write e-mails and text messages from a wide-screen view. Tech bloggers are hoping for something more: a 3.0 version of the iPhone hardware. An iPhone 3.0 could include new hardware like a video camera, a better photo camera and a new design. That would be in keeping with the spirit of the Worldwide Developers Conference, which has become known for groundbreaking announcements. The consensus prediction among tech journalists is that Apple will release an upgraded 3.0 operating system with a new iPhone, most likely in July. The other thing tech writers are looking for at WWDC: the possible return of Apple’s chief executive, Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January. In a news release, Apple says “a team of Apple executives,” led by Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will give the conference’s keynote address at 1 p.m. ET Monday. There is speculation online that Jobs may be part of that team. Citing inside sources, the Wall Street Journal says Jobs is expected to return to work sometime this month. Apple’s phones are the second-best-selling consumer smartphones in the U.S., according to the NPD Group, an online market-research firm. Smartphones are a category of mobile phones that act kind of like personal computers, allowing people to surf the Internet, share photos and keep up with e-mail while on the move. About a quarter of all consumer phones sold from January to April of this year were smartphones, NPD says. The iPhone faces new competition from the Palm Pre, a smartphone that debuted on Friday and claims to combine Apple’s popular touch screen with a more functional keyboard, like the one found on a popular business-class smartphone, the BlackBerry. Check out reviews of the top smartphones from CNET. You can follow live coverage of the event at CNET, Fortune, Wired, theAppleBlog and by searching WWDC on Twitter. Also check back in with CNN’s SciTech blog for reaction to Apple’s upcoming announcements.