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10 Jun 12 What to expect from Apple’s WWDC event

Speculation has run rampant, as it does every time the Cupertino, California-based computing giant moves a muscle. But some of the guesses make more sense than others.

Here’s a look at some of the most credible reports, with our take on the odds of them being even vaguely true.

Software updates

This one isn’t as sexy as a big product unveiling, but software is the bread-and-butter of WWDC. And there might be some drama here, yet.

It’s about time for a first look at iOS 6, an update of the mobile operating system that runs iPhones, iPads and Apple’s other Web-enabled mobile devices.

The developers in attendance will no doubt hang on every detail. But the most high-profile change is expected to be Apple’s announcement that it’s replacing Google Maps with its own mapping app as the system’s default.

Apple and Google have obviously squared off in the mobile space, with more smartphones now running Google’s Android system, even though the iPhone remains the single most popular phone.

Supplanting Google’s popular maps on its millions of mobile devices would be a big blow in the rivals’ ongoing slugfest.

Looking to get the jump on Apple, Google announced new features to Google Maps on Wednesday, including more 3-D images and the ability to use the product even when you’re offline.

Interestingly, Google only announced the update for people using its own Android mobile operating system.

Developers also may get a closer look at OS X Mountain Lion, the Mac operating system scheduled for release this summer.

Odds: Bet the farm.

Refreshed Macs

Of the nonsoftware speculation, this one feels like the most likely — and could be pretty significant.

For one, It’s been a year or more since Apple’s major desktop and laptop models have been updated. The iMac got refreshed in May 2011, the MacBook Pro’s last overhaul was February 2011 and MacBook Air’s latest model rolled out in July of last year.

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