Technology

What's Up With Apple: The Road to $3T and WWDC Announcements

The first day of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) saw the introduction of changes to iOS, Watch OS, FaceTime and an overall strengthening of the company’s push to become the leader in protecting users’ privacy.

Generally, Apple appears to be doubling down on controlling its ecosystem, the very behavior that launched the Epic Games lawsuit and the regulatory challenges in Europe.

The next iteration of the iPhone operating system, iOS 15, will include an upgrade to Apple’s video calling app FaceTime. Previously restricted to calls between iPhones, Apple is now opening the app to web browsers, meaning that non-Apple devices like Android smartphones and Windows computers can now use FaceTime. The app now sets itself up as a competitor to Google Meet and Zoom.

Another new feature lets people add their driver’s licenses to their Apple Wallet. This is unlikely to have a major immediate impact as only a handful of states currently accept digital licenses. Yet, Apple is looking ahead here: if you can carry your cash, credit cards and driver’s license in your phone, do you really need to lug around a wallet?

Mail Privacy Protection lets people hide their IP addresses, location and other details of how they use the mail program, while iCloud+ lets users create online accounts without sharing their actual email addresses.

New features for Watch OS 8 expand the health and wellness monitoring capabilities of Apple Watch and signal a continued push for increasing purchases of the smartwatch.

There were many other changes announced to MacOS, HomeOS, tvOS and iPad OS. CNN offers details of many of the changes announced Monday.

One long-time Apple bull, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, told CNBC Monday that his firm continues to believe that Apple will become a $3 trillion company next year. With a current market cap of $2.1 trillion, the company’s stock will need to add about 40% to its share price to reach that goal.

Again, Ives points to Apple’s walled garden as a driver of that growth:

They have put an iron fence around their install[ed] base, continue to monetize it, and the bears and skeptics will continue to doubt them.

Ives, who is no Pollyanna, sees risks to his $3 trillion projection from lawsuits and regulatory investigations related to anti-competitive practices.