Apple's annual developer conferences are usually less hyped than its higher-profile product launches, but the event that starts next Monday might be an exception.
Analysts often criticize the company for relying too much on iPhone sales for its profits, and for failing to develop recurring revenue streams — criticisms the company plans to address with at least two pretty substantial changes to how it does business.
Apple will roll out a new revenue-sharing plan with app developers — taking just 15 percent rather than 30 percent — as long as the app works on a subscription model rather than a one-time payment.
Apple will also allow search ads in the App Store for the first time, a potentially significant revenue source. (The App Store hit 100 billion downloads as of June 2015.)
And there's plenty more the company is likely to reveal next week at WWDC, its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
The company will present new ways to build products for its phone, computer, watch and TV operating systems next week, and at least one analyst believes that Siri will be at the crux of the conference's highly-hyped keynote on Monday.
MacOS (currently OS X El Capitan) could see more robust Siri integration, while a Siri software developers kit could open up third-party apps, wrote Amit Daryanani, analyst at RBC Capital Markets. A "smarter" — more context aware — Siri could be proof of preparation for either a stand-alone Siri device, similar to Amazon Echo, or integration of a conversational interface into Apple TV, Daryanani wrote in a research note.
It also comes after Google's developer conference and the Recode's annual conference, where technology executives like Sundar Pichai and Jeff Bezos regaled audiences with their artificial intelligence accomplishments.
"It's a time when Apple has to deliver in a major way in order to reestablish their leadership position," said Raefer Gabriel, CEO of Delvv, which develops smartphone intelligence apps on both Android and iOS. " It's a uniquely critical time for Apple in the history of the iOS platform."
WWDC by definition focuses on software, serving as last year's debut of Apple Music and iOS 9. Indeed, Daryanani predicts a redesigned interface for Apple Music as well as the unveiling of iOS 10, OS X10, watch OS and tvOS at Monday's event.
While software isn't the area that Apple is known for, it's becoming more critically attached to the futures of Apple's flagship device, the iPhone, write analysts at Stifel. And any threat to the dominance of iPhone devices in the smartphone market sends Apple's stock into a tailspin.
Shares of Apple tend to dip following WWDC,according to Kensho , a quantitative data tool.
"Users spend [more than] 80 percent of their time on only three apps, with Facebook, Chrome, and YouTube being the most commonly used apps in the U.S. and Facebook, WhatsApp, and Chrome being the most commonly used apps globally," Stifel said in a note to clients. "This is a potential problem for Apple as data and user engagement is happening apart from Apple (albeit still on an Apple device for those iPhone users). This echoes the points made by Joanna Stern last week in The Wall Street Journal that Apple risks the iPhone becoming just an empty shell for other companies' (i.e., Facebook and Google) services."
That's where Siri, for instance, could come in to play.
"I think they have to have a really strong position on how the AI-driven experience and how the app experience connect together and need to bring developers on board with that vision," Gabriel said.
Right now, Gabriel creates primarily on Android, in part because he said Apple's closed development platform is falling behind the more innovative projects being done at Google.
"Apple has shown willingness to move that direction by opening up the keyboard API," Gabriel said. "I would love to see that trend to forward. It would move a lot of innovators back on to the iOS plaforms. Those are the people moving the Android platform forward. You have to strike a balance between a walled garden and controlling the user experience."
Others on Wall Street are looking toward a revamp of Apple Pay, said Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. That's an area where Apple's strong security gives it an advantage, said Gabriel.
Apple Pay could move beyond apps to websites, Recode reported. It could even support person-to-person payments in iMessage, Apple scoopster Mark Gurman told CNBC executive editor Jay Yarow on his podcast.
Robbie Whiting, co-founder, and chief technology officer at product design company Junior, is also anticipating a push toward a virtual reality platform from Apple, although he sees a VR/360 camera on a iPhone as a "long shot" at this point.
As late CEO Steve Jobs is commonly quoted as saying, software may be the soul of Apple products, but hardware is the brain and sinew. iPhones make up the lion's share of Apple's revenue stream, as other hardware devices, like the Apple Watch, have yet to catch on among developers. Indeed, many developers are still skeptical that a native Watch app can drive significant value on its own, Stifel analysts write.
Daryanani also expects a refreshed MacBook Pro (following the vein of the newly-minted standard model) and less likely, an Apple Watch 2.
"I think a new Apple Watch is inevitable, and there's a laundry list of amazing things the device could do," Whiting said. "I'd love to see fully native watch apps — less dependency on the iPhone — with a cellular/4G direct connection. Facetime video streaming would be a killer function as well, and a more full-featured 'quantified self' fitness app for more sophisticated health monitoring."
— CNBC's Josh Lipton and Harriet Taylor contributed to this report.