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WWDC: Hardware Deluge Promised

Tomorrow Apple throws open the doors to its annual developer-fest, WWDC. This year we're likely to have the unusual sight of Tim Cook outing a whole raft of new hardware – if rumours are to be believed anyway.

The current list includes a new iPad Pro, with a larger 10.5" screen; a new Alexa-aping, Sonos-wannabe home speaker; and refreshed Macbooks of all flavours.

The new iPad is the most interesting rumor. Apple needs more than a hardware refresh to make the iPad competitive. In fact I'd go as far as to say that the hardware is the least important upgrade Apple could make to its tablet.

With iPad sales in freefall and Mac sales not going much better, Apple needs a big result for computing from WWDC. That means making an iPad a better option for standalone computing.

So for me the most important thing that we will find out at WWDC is what Apple has planned for iOS 11. If there are new features which allow the iPad to better perform its role as a computer replacement we'll know that Apple is serious about making its tablet a real computer.

So for all the hardware announcements promised for tomorrow it's a software platform upgrade that will most interest me.