Apple slates WWDC for June 7-11, touts iPhone 4

Could launch next-generation iPhone as early as June 18

Apple today announced that its Worldwide Developers Conference will begin June 7, the likely date when the company will introduce its next iPhone .

WWDC, which will be held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center, will run from June 7 to 11, according to the conference's Web site , which went live earlier today. That is the same week in the month as 2009's WWDC, when Apple unveiled the iPhone 3GS and announced it would go on sale starting June 19, 2009.

Ezra Gottheil, analyst with Technology Business Research, noted that Apple has revealed its new iPhone at WWDC the last two years, and has no reason to change. "It's important, for one thing, to show [developers] what it can do," he said.

CEO Steve Jobs pulled the wraps from the iPhone 3G at WWDC in June 2008, and set the launch for July 11.

There will be fewer surprises this year when Jobs -- who is again leading major product presentations after returning from a liver transplant last year -- unveils the next iPhone. Last week, the Gizmodo technology blog posted photographs and analysis of a prototype of the iPhone that Apple is expected to launch this summer.

If Apple sticks to the pattern of the last three years, it will launch the next iPhone on a Friday. Assuming the company repeats the schedule of 2009, when it revealed the iPhone 3GS on June 8 and launched it June 19, Apple could start selling this year's model on Friday, June 18.

Not surprisingly, Apple will tout iPhone 4, the next version of its mobile operating system, at WWDC.

"This year's WWDC offers developers in-depth sessions and hands-on working labs to learn more about iPhone OS 4," said Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iPhone software, in a statement. "WWDC provides a unique opportunity for developers to work side-by-side with Apple engineers and interface designers to make their iPhone and iPad apps even better."

The WWDC Web site lists numerous developer sessions specific to iPhone 4 , including several aimed at bringing programmers up to date on the operating system's new features, such as multitasking, integration with the iPhone's native calendar and use of Apple's new iAd mobile advertising platform.

The conference also features several sessions devoted to Apple's programming tools, which took on special importance after the company banned the use of cross-platform compilers to create iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad applications. Adobe, for example, has said that it will discontinue further development of the cross-platform compiler included in its Flash Professional CS5.

Apple stocked the "Internet & Web" track with several sessions specific to HTML5, the next-generation Web development language, and its support for embedded video. Apple has repeatedly said it will not allow Flash on its mobile devices, and has been pushing HTML5 as a substitute.

WWDC is priced at $1,599, a 23.5% increase over 2009's $1,295 early-registration discount, but virtually the same as the $1,595 cost for last year's conference after the discount expired.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld . Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is .

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