SAN JOSÉ, Calif., June 5, 2017 – If it’s June it must be time for Apple’s annual World Wide Developer’s Conference, aka, WWDC. A longtime yearly tradition, WWDC is a convention of sorts during which Apple caters to current and prospective developers and, lately, pitches some of its latest hardware and software developments as well.
This year’s conference is taking place in San José’s McEnery Convention Center.
The company has announced and is still announcing a slew of new stuff today, in fact, an uncommonly large list of new stuff. So rather than overwhelm you with verbiage, we’ll try to reduce major announcements here to fairly short bullet items.
On the downside today, in the midst of all the excitement, an obscure investing firm downgraded Apple’s stock, derailing, at least for today, Apple’s latest attempt to rally up to the $160 dollar range. The stock closed off $1.57 at $153.88 per share, off around 1 percent on the day. Spoil sports!
Most firms have actually been increasing their price estimates for Apple’s stock (symbol: AAPL), anticipating big sales this fall for the company’s much-touted but yet-to-be-revealed iPhone 8. We expect the stock to peak somewhere north of $160 at some point. It could go much, much higher if iPhone 8 is a barn-burner of a new model. But AAPL could also be an Epic Fail if the new phone gets “meh” reviews when it’s release.
Now, let’s go to those product announcements:
- Apple is releasing a refreshed line of iMacs, the venerable computer’s first update since October 2015.
- New iMacs will move to 7th generation Intel Core processors.
- 21.5-inch iMac can now include up to 32 GB memory. 27-inch iMac can include up to 64 GB.
- iMac Retina models will include a 4K, 21.5-inch display.
- New iMacs will start shipping Monday.
MacBook Pro models
- Refreshed 13- and 15-inch models.
- Thinner, faster and new touchbar replaces function keys.
- Up to 3.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz, depending on configuration chosen.
- Up to 1 TB SSD storage, up to 16 GB memory.
- 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports.
- Major update ships with choice of an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, a 10-core version or an 18 GB processor – the most powerful Mac ever.
- 5K display, plus support for two more 5K displays.
- Processing power can handle VR, which will be supported in Apple’s upcoming MacOS update, “High Sierra.”
- Price: $4,999 for starters.
- Availability in December, 2017.
- New model announced: iPad Pro 10.5-inch.
- Supports HDR video, first model to do so. Also features “TrueTone” display that adjusts brightness and tone to optimize display under varying light conditions.
- New A10X CPU with 30 percent faster processor performance than previous CPU and 40 percent faster graphics.
- Supports Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.
- Will run iOS 11, which has new features like a file browser for file searching, an improved bottom doc, other improved windowing and multi-tasking features.
OSX: macOS High Sierra
- Faster Safari will FINALLY prevent irritating autoplay videos from happening without your permission.
- “Intelligent tracking” provides greater protection over current browsing activities and browser history.
- MacMail refinements.
- Much-improved search functions, including facial recognition search in “Photos.”
- New default file management system, “Apple File System.”
- First time support for Virtual Reality (VR).
- Availability date: TBA, with OS releases typically appearing early- to mid-Fall.
- Upcoming OS to support peer-to-peer payments via new Pay Cash feature, putting Apple in competition with PayPal, Square Cash and Venmo.
- Augmented Reality (AR) in the form of ARKit will be supported. Apple expects AR to be “huge” in coming years.
- Improved machine learning capacity for Siri, plus a greater selection of Siri “voices.”
Playing Nice with Amazon?
- Amazon Prime will be coming to the Apple TV app.
First original Apple video series, “Carpool Karaoke,” in delayed release.
- Apple says will help ARKit become the largest augmented reality platform in the world, practically “overnight.”
- ARKit will be supported inside iOS 11, which is expected to launch this fall.
More announcements might be on tap this week, but these are the big ones. We’ve eliminated the techy details, thought there are many for the geeks in our investing crowd.
There will also be a great deal for developers to absorb at this year’s WWDC if they are contemplating new and/or improved programs or apps for upcoming machines or OS iterations. But since, like most of you, we aren’t developers, we’ll leave that to those intrepid developers.