This morning, I woke up to a rather curious and surprising announcement, directly from Apple itself, regarding the contents of WWDC keynote:

At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software - Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

There can be multiple reasons for doing so, but one thing that is certain is that this is a first time that Apple pre-announces the content of their keynotes.

While I would not know their true intentions, I have three suspicions for them doing so.

First, set the tone for the rumour mills to follow, reducing wild speculations that lead to unnecessarily high false expectations, which severely affects their stock and reviews when they are not, and are not meant to be met.

In some of their previous Keynotes, analysts have remarked that they are underwhelming. Truth be told, these expectations were possibly set by rumours mills and could be unrealistic as Apple never speculates nor comment on their future plans. By pre-announcing what Apple will talk about, it gives rumour mills some degree of scope and restrain from speculating too far, keeping consumer expectations in check, leaving them with a prime target—iCloud.

Secondly, it could just be technically impossible to launch an iCloud service “live” during the Keynote without making preparations that can be seen by outsiders, like changing domain ownership. By pre-announcing, Apple refocuses their “wow” strategy of the keynote on possibility of the iCloud service rather than the fact that Apple is to launch the iCloud service.

Thirdly, this allows Apple to set the stage most aptly for an “Oh, one more thing” announcement.

Then, as if to fan the rumours of a Keynote that’s too content overloaded, Apple released another press release on new versions of iWork on the same day, a few hours later:

Apple® today announced that its groundbreaking iWork® productivity apps, Keynote®, Pages® and Numbers®, are now available for iPhone® and iPod touch®, as well as iPad®.

On the day of the keynote, you would know how the rumour mills were being steered.