WWDC may not be entirely hardware-free after all

CEO Tim Cook hinted pretty strongly on the company’s most recent earnings calls that there would be no major new products until the fall. While that would seem to rule out a new iPhone or iPad introduction before then, we could see some new hardware earlier in the year after all: in the form of a new or updated Mac at WWDC next month. That likelihood was raised Wednesday morning in a post by a very in-the-know Apple fan and blogger, Jim Dalrymple.

He wrote on his blog The Loop that he expects new Macs to be introduced at Apple’s annual developer’s conference that kicks off June 10:

For me, the Mac products fit well with a Tim Cook keynote at WWDC. That’s all I really expect from Apple in the way of hardware at the conference.

He offers no source or evidence as to why he expects this, but readers of Dalrymple know that he tends to get his information from knowledgeable folks within Apple, even if he doesn’t attribute it.

The big question then is what kind of new Macs will we see? Will it be refreshed MacBooks with new Intel Haswell processors? The timing seems right — Intel(s intc) is set to release these new chips in early June. The iMac just got a major redesign late last year, so that seems an unlikely candidate for a refresh. There’s also an outside chance Apple might continue adding its super-high-def display to more Macs, and offer a MacBook Air with Retina display. However, it might be a stretch for Apple to be able to fit one of these screens in the Air while maintaining its thin-and-light reputation.

Another possibility: Perhaps WWDC will be the big reveal for the “really great” thing Cook promised last summer that Apple has been working on for Mac Pro fans. He told a customer in an email in summer 2012 that the timetable for that was later in 2013.