Solution providers are anticipating "surprise announcements” as well as the unveiling of "game-changing” products at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference on June 2 in San Francisco. Also Apple has made its $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics official today, according to news reports, and partners believe that Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics alone is a sign that an Apple wearable is coming.
Partners said they fully expect Apple to announce iOS 8 at the show before it's released during the third quarter, giving software developers time to prepare for it.
One of the highly anticipated features partners expect of Apple's forthcoming operating system is HD audio across all iOS devices. VARs said consumers will be surprised as to how improved the sound quality will be when listening to their playlists, but the feature will be a blockbuster for the enterprise when it comes to videoconferencing.
"High-def audio on an iPad would be a game-changer," said Ira Grossman, CTO of end user and mobile computing for MCPc, a Cleveland-based national Apple partner specializing in mobile solutions with its Anyplace Workspace. "We have a number of folks here at MCPc with the Cisco Jabber client as their primary office telephone. High-def audio would increase its usefulness, as it could be more easily used as a more powerful speakerphone device.”
The application development surrounding HD audio that would follow after it is announced next week has partners excited to see what developers come up with.
"It's always been a bit of a challenge to find a usable and affordable device to do videoconferencing," said Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Cambridge, Ontario-based solution provider Xylotek Solutions. "If Apple could come up with a usable application that could take advantage of HD audio and video capabilities with the right kind of encryption algorithm, having an application that could compress that data and make it secure, that would be a cool thing to see."
Could consumers be listening to their iTunes music playlists in HD quality on their Apple-branded Beats Electronics headphones later this year?
Apple has acquired Beats Electronics for $3 billion, the Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers reported late Wednesday afternoon. For the past three weeks, there were rumblings of Apple being in talks with Beats Electronics.
At WWDC, expect there to be an announcement of what Apple plans to do with the headphone maker.
As CRN previously reported, partners believe the purpose of the acquisition would lead to the Beats Music streaming service being incorporated with iTunes, rejuvenating the popular music application, but above all, Apple aims to use the ready-made distribution channel that Beats offers to sell Apple's unreleased wearable devices.
"It's not about the headphones," said Raul De Arriz, national government sales manager for Small Dog Electronics, Waitsfield, Vt., one of the top Apple specialists in the country. "Apple is improving their teams constantly for what they do. They are improving distribution for wearables, they are adding music streaming, and they are adding a series of hardware products that they don't currently make that are very high-end and popular, so I think it has good sides."
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