Developers flock to SF anticipating new iPhone 

It’s the time of year when thousands of computer enthusiasts descend on downtown San Francisco to see the latest gadgets and gizmos to be revealed by computer giant Apple Inc.

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference starts Monday at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

According to Apple’s website, 1,000 Apple engineers will be at the five-day conference to answer questions and try out new concepts. The company estimates at least 5,000 people will attend this year’s conference.

The conference is a once-a-year event where developers have an opportunity to learn more about developing products for the Mac and iPhone, and can also meet Apple’s own developers face to face.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, will deliver the keynote speech Monday morning.

Though Apple representatives declined to comment on the specifics of what would be revealed, it has been widely speculated the next generation of the iPhone will be released and speculations about the next iPad will also come out at the conference.

Apple has stopped selling the iPhone 3.0 before the conference. The iPhone 3.0 was revealed at the 2009 conference along with the 15-inch Macbook Pro and Safari 4.

Much buzz has been generated about the iPhone since April when tech blog Gizmodo paid $5,000 for a prototype of the new phone. One of Apple’s engineers had apparently left the phone at a Redwood City bar.

One sign Apple is readying a new model, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in late May halved the price of one kind of the iPhone 3GS, the model that debuted last year, to $97. And as of Monday, AT&T Inc., the sole carrier — at least for now — of the iPhone in the U.S., will stop letting new customers use an unlimited amount of wireless data for a flat fee. Instead, in an attempt to reduce iPhone-driven congestion on its network, AT&T will offer plans that will cost the biggest users of data more money.

Apple is also likely working on a service that could change the way many of us think about buying and listening to music.

In addition to the dozens of sessions and labs for developers, Apple is also holding special events throughout the week including a “Stump the Experts” where attendees can go toe-to-toe with engineers to test their knowledge of Apple history, trivia and facts as well as “Bash at Yerba Buena Gardens” that gives developers a chance to mingle with one another.

New iPhone on tap
 
THE BUZZ: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely to show off a new version of the iPhone during its annual software developers conference, which opens Monday in San Francisco.
THE BACKGROUND: Apple won’t say what it plans to unveil, but tech blog Gizmodo published details of an iPhone prototype lost by an Apple engineer in a bar.
THE FEATURES: If the new iPhone is like the prototype, it will have a clearer display, longer battery life and a front-facing camera.

IF YOU GO
Worldwide Developers Conference

When: Monday through Friday
Where: Moscone Center
Event: Worldwide Developers Conference
What’s expected: Apple Inc. to reveal its latest version of the iPhone

Wire services contributed to this report.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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