It’s difficult to say whether the dullness we felt after the opening session of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) was due to the fact that virtually every announcement had already been rumored or if the announcements were just dull on their own: new versions of OS X for the desktop, iOS 8 for iPhones and iPads, and a new HealthKit to watch you plus a new HomeKit to watch your home.
Announcements of new features, no matter how cool they might be, are not the same as having CEO Tim Cook hold up an iWatch (or whatever the company will call it) and say that the world will never be the same again. It doesn’t even matter if that statement is true, just saying it roils the water and gets everybody waving their arms and shouting at one another again. That’s not likely to happen this week.
You might think that the WWDC — an event for developers, not the hoi polloi — is not the right venue for earth-shattering announcements, but that would be a mistake. If Apple had had anything big to say, we’d have heard it today.
What’s really boring about today is what it may mean for the expected announcement of the iPhone 6 later this year. The date of the launch is now being rumored as sometime in August as opposed to late September and most people expect two new phones, a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch.
But just being bigger is not going to cut it. Apple needs more than a bigger screen and a new operating system. Home and health monitors are both good products and Apple needs to play there. Still, there’s no “Wow!” factor. Maybe that’s why these upgrades were announced today, to clear the deck for a really high-Wow-factor iPhone launch. Or maybe not.
Apple’s shares closed down about 0.7% on Monday at $628.65 in a 52-week range of $388.87 to $644.17.