Apple promises next version of iOS will launch at WWDC 2013


Forgoing its signature secrecy, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed it will unveil the next version of its iOS mobile operating system during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, kicking off in San Francisco on June 10. 

"Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we're excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps," Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a press release promoting WWDC 2013, which begins ticket sales at 1:00 pm ET today. "We can't wait to get new versions of iOS and OS X into their hands at WWDC."

Apple released the current iOS 6 to consumers in September. Insiders have said the company is scrambling to finalize iOS 7 in time for WWDC: "What I've heard: iOS 7 is running behind, and engineers have been pulled from [Mac] OS X 10.9 to work on it," longtime Silicon Valley insider John Gruber recently stated on his Daring Fireball blog. Gruber noted Apple has previously shifted engineering resources in order to meet deadlines: In 2007, the company delayed the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard by four months in order to ship the first iPhone on time.

Gruber also reiterated rumors that iOS 7 will bring substantial user interface changes, likely causing the project to fall behind schedule. Gruber noted that iOS engineers with device-carry privileges "all have some sort of polarizing filter on their iPhone displays, such that it greatly decreases viewing angles, thus making it difficult for observers to see the apparently rather significant system-wide UI overhaul."

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive is lobbying to make iO7 simpler and more minimalist than previous iterations. Ive--famed for his sleek, contemporary hardware design sensibilities--assumed control of Apple's Human Interface efforts last fall in addition to his Industrial Design duties, a change prompted by the exit of Scott Forstall, the firm's longtime senior vice president of iOS software. Developers who've spoken to Apple maintain that Ive is pushing for a "flat design" that shifts iOS away from its longtime reliance on skeuomorphism, a digital design aesthetic that leverages real-world images and metaphors like linen-textured gray backgrounds, wooden bookshelves and spiral-bound notebooks.

Earlier this week, Apple's reported record quarterly iTunes revenues of $2.4 billion, up 28 percent year-over-year, highlighted by new quarterly revenue records for iOS apps, music and movies. Cumulative app downloads have now surpassed 45 billion, and app developers have earned App Store revenues in excess of $9 billion, including $4.5 billion in the most recent four quarters alone.

The App Store continues to generate revenues 2.6x greater than the rival Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront, according to a recent App Annie report. The U.S. leads all international markets on iOS app downloads and revenues.

For more:
- read this release
- read this Verge article

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Apple releasing iOS 6 to consumers on Sept. 19