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With the stock down more than 1.5% on an up-market day, it's clear to me that neither Wall Street nor common investors liked what Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) CEO Steve Jobs had to say at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which kicked off yesterday.
Let's review what Jobs introduced:
- Lion. The latest edition of the Mac OS will be distributed via the Mac App Store and sell for $29 -- much like Snow Leopard when it was first introduced. A press release claims 250 enhancements, some of which appear designed to kill some of the best apps in the Mac universe, including Dropbox for cross-device storage and Instapaper and Read It Later for saving Web pages.
- iOS 5. Apple announced its latest mobile operating system before having a device ready to use it. The Mac maker wouldn't say when the new OS would debut, only that it will be available "this fall." Planned features include Twitter integration, a new notifications system (it's about time), and a digital magazine organizer called Newsstand.
- iCloud. And finally, the one we all were waiting for. Apple positioned iCloud as a backup service and cross-device storage system, ensuring that the latest versions of all documents are always available to all iOS devices in a user's network. What's more, iTunes Music Match promises to give users who've purchased music the option to upgrade to the best possible version via the cloud. Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN ) Cloud Player and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Music are thus far limited to streaming libraries that users upload themselves.
Most importantly, iCloud allows iOS devices to operate independently of a Mac or PC. That means no more syncing via USB cable. Everything gets updated from the cloud to devices as needed. Pretty big, eh? Don't bother telling investors that.
As my Foolish colleague Cindy Johnson predicted in April, investors were holding out hope that Apple would continue its tradition of announcing new handsets at WWDC. No such luck. So today, they're selling the stock as if Jobs' failure to roll out a new iPhone equals gift-wrapping market share gains for Nokia's (NYSE: NOK ) forthcoming Windows handsets, Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM ) BlackBerry, and HTC's newest Android devices.
Is that a fair assessment? You tell us. Please vote in the poll below, then leave a comment to tell us what you thought about Apple's performance yesterday.