Why Didn't You Like Apple's Announcements?

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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.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Amazon.com, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (28) | Recommend This Article (11)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 4:04 PM, MutualFundMonday wrote:

    Apple isn't concerned about day to day stock price fluctuations. With the lowering hype for iPods, it was time to move the iPhone to Fall in order to have an iPad and iPhone balance in the year.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 4:06 PM, midnightmoney wrote:

    As a shareholder, I'm trying to care, but alas I can't be bothered. Nudge me when something actually happens.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 4:07 PM, steveonyx wrote:

    Sure it was a down day for Apple even though the rest of the market had a pretty good day (up until Bernake started speaking). But, Apple continues to innovate and execute. They are so far out in front of their competition that pushing out the iPhone 5 makes sense.

    Big down days are buying opportunities. Just look how much money I've made trading Apple options over the last 18 months: http://onyxinvesting.com/trade-history/big-money-on-apple/

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 4:34 PM, docoran wrote:

    Apple is laying the foundation for a revolution in computing. By creating a seamless environment for interconnectivity of all its devices, it will sell more items than it might otherwise. People should stop focusing on when the iphone5 will be released and realize that it makes little or no difference in the long run if the iphone is released a few months later. The new icloud however is a game changer!

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 4:45 PM, LWILLS wrote:

    iCloud is exactly what I have been waiting for - no more syncing YEA!!!!!

    The music locker is intriguing - I'll have to delve deeper into the specs on that but I think its a winner, especially with the big record labels finally on board.

    And I totally agree with docoran above - that is the big picture. I've been chanting this since the first iMac came out shortly after 9/11

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 4:51 PM, techy46 wrote:

    The Cloud already exists and doesn't need Apple to reinvent it for everyone, only consumers that don't understand it. However, I for one don't want all of my "stuff" on anybody's cloud. The tunes part is ok but a lttle big brother goes a long ways. You can keep "stuff" on any part of the public(BOA, Fidelity, Schwab, etc.) or private (home, office, etc.) clouds that make's sense to you without playing into anyones grandeous plan.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 5:21 PM, ifool100 wrote:

    It seems to me that AAPL is on sale again. The market is fickle, emotional and downright bi-polar. I tend to agree with "docoran". Cloud computing is a game changer.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 5:38 PM, filkollinz wrote:

    Apple's reputation for creating a great user experience was somewhat dented with mobileme, but iCloud is set to deliver a pain-free user experience and set the stage for the future of mobile computing. Apple's emphasis on this and not to try and quell the mob with another iPhone upgrade is correct in my view. After all, Apple have always been about the experience (ie software) as much as they have been gadget makers.

    The market's reaction wasn't a total surprise given the lack of an iPhone offering, but it's a buying opportunity for sure. Building the foundations for the future computing may not be as sexy as a shiny new gadget (which will be here soon enough), but it positions Apple in an unassailable position over the competition and will hopefully repay buy-to-hold shareholders many times over.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 6:16 PM, peanutgalerygeek wrote:

    At the WWDC. This one is about software, not hardware. 3000 new APIs have been added for Lion. How much code is that? A HUGH amount. In a year. Keep selling. I'll back options on margin and crush it. Nobody else can do this so fast. Period.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 6:23 PM, demodave wrote:

    I think Apple announced exectly The Right Stuff for WWDC at WWDC. WWDC is for developers, not consumers. The software is seeded to developers so that they can start writing software to be ready for the OSs' formal releases. Being June now, that gives the developers 3-4 months to get their software ready for the Holiday Quarter, which, by common (though certainly not unanimous) consensus is when we can expect to see the new iPhone that will run that software. Now imagine how much easier it will be to give that phone as a gift when you don't even need a computer to set it up!

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 6:28 PM, etgh wrote:

    I keep on getting this feeling that Apple is very much like Disney. For those who have ever been to Disney World, you must suspend a certain amount of common sense to make it work.

    This announcement seems to be a lot of "magic" and very "ethereal" descriptions of technology that already exist, purported to be technical revolutions created by Apple. Again, for the "believers" this is pure wonderment, for the unbelievers....its all very Mooney-like.

    I always feel Apple products are very well designed and very user friendly. However, you never get to see what's behind the technology or how it works. Even IOS can not really be "looked" at because Apple's file system prevents it. It's like they want to "guide" the user to Apple's vision of what the product experience should be and no other path.

    For me, its all to "Big Brother" for me and I feel as if I'm being "hypnotized" while a mechanical hand is reaching into my pocket........

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 6:50 PM, rfaramir wrote:

    demodave is exactly right. Developers received what they need to be ready for the PC-less iPod Touches (and iPhones and iPads) coming for Christmas, ready for gifting without synching.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 6:57 PM, daphinytsno wrote:

    Monday I actually bought my first few APPLE stocks and was so proud, then all this bad press the last few days yet I still feel lucky to have them..

    I plan on keeping them and adding even more, I see Apple and Google or Apple and Microsoft one day merging and becoming a super company...........Either one would make me a very happy lady ........ ............Daph

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 7:04 PM, dlchase24 wrote:

    I'd imagine that investors who sold after yesterday's announcements were underwhelmed and looking to take whatever money they earned.

    I think Apple announced exactly what they should, but I don't consider any of it revolutionary. In fact, I'd say Apple was only playing catch up, save for iTunes Match.

    Apple is passionate about software and providing a great user experience, but at its core, its a hardware company. With the iPhone they didn't just change our mobile devices, but more importantly, the services required for them. Many of which, to my knowledge, they didn't actually provide.

    So for me, the question is how does a company known for creating great hardware transition to providing good cloud based services and most importantly, will it be platform independent?

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 8:29 PM, bghouse wrote:

    Heh ... I'm eligible for my Verizon "New Every Two" this fall, and I'd love it to be an iPhone V...

    In the meantime, I owe Mr Jobs a thank you note. Because he did't meet some folk's completely unrealistic expectations, a buy order I had sitting out there executed today.

    I'm guessing the cooler heads will prevail in the coming days.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 8:38 PM, peanutgalerygeek wrote:

    Nothing 'magical' or 'crazy' about the software updates I'm looking at. Just a whole lot of extremely useful code that just works, that's easy to use, that allows every app builder to build better games faster, put cloud and document versioning into any app they want to, sync anything from any app to all devices on demand, run with better parallelism, using better developer tools (which means better code faster with fewer bugs).

    I repeat... no magic... just a lot of really good code that works... that lets ME work faster and better.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 9:10 PM, demodave wrote:

    dlchase24, you are 180 degrees incorrect:

    Apple is a software company that provides great user experiences and is passionate about selling hardware. All you have to do to understand this is to listen to the spec-mongering unbelievers: "the camera doesn't have enough megapixels", "it doesn't have USB", "it doesn't do Flash", ...

    What Apple does is provide an OS that is insanely user-friendly for end-users and provide developers with the tools they need to be successful on that OS (if they have an idea that is commercially viable). An Apple box without an Apple OS would not be the same box. It would be a Samsung/Motorola/LG/HP/Dell/bland-name [sic] Android/Chrome/Windoze/Rim box.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 9:13 PM, bornboring wrote:

    Lion -- to channel clients to iCloud.

    iOS5 -- for developers to be ready for roll out time. Apple is very serious about security, I think there are some feature which we wished for may not be secured enough in the eyes of Jobs. e.g. the payment system.

    iCloud -- tends to kill off a lot of other hardware developments, e.g. external hard drives, NAS etc.

    Result -- there will be smaller market for pc and laptops. Less board productions -- less silver needed for manufacturing.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 10:53 PM, dlchase24 wrote:

    @demodave

    I'd agree with you, if Apple sold or licensed OSX or iOS for other computers and devices, but they don't. iTunes is available for PC, but it's a free download, so the revenue source for Apple is hardware. The argument about megapixels, usb, etc can be applied to Android devices as well.

    What Apple provides is an OS that differentiates their hardware from Sammy/Moto/HP/Dell/etc, so I'd agree that an Apple box without an Apple OS isn't the same. At the end of the day, however, they are really selling boxes, highlighted by including Boot Camp to allow installation of Windows on a Mac.

    To further my point, look at Motley Fools CAPS description: "From iPods to iPhones to MacBooks, Apple uses its 'think different' approach to reframe computing, communication, and more." No reference to software. Also reference any presentation they do where they point out iPod, iPad, Mac or iPhone sales. They are a hardware company that is passionate about software and the purpose of iCloud is to get users to by Apple hardware (hence my platform independence question).

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 10:57 PM, reprobate4k wrote:

    The iphone is looking tired.

    ios5 is somewhat uninspiring. Although the imessage feature could help with corporates.

    Android has taken over as the number one smart phone platform in the US which doesnt help. Players like HTC are releasing stunning new hardware all the time. HTC's May sales were bigger than their 2010 sales!

    Part of holding the iphone 5 back a few months may be to battle microsoft mango and the new nokia handsets.

    Gut feeling - they need something new for the US very soon.

    icloud - apparently its powered by HP data farms or whatever they are called. Not sure how that affects them..

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2011, at 11:17 PM, FoolSolo wrote:

    Ho hummmmmmmm. Boring!

    TMF is clutching at straws here. Must be a slow news day.

    LION is a new Mac OS, o.k. fine. Next?

    iCloud is a interesting, and I guess a step in the right direction, but not likely the game changer some are claiming it to be. Your device still has to have local storage, and it is assumed you want the same content on all your devices. I don't quite get the point of that. Now, if the content was in the cloud and I could have it selectively streamed to any of my devices, on demand, it would be more interesting to me.

    Disclaimer:

    I am long APPL (largest holding in my portfolio - for now).

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2011, at 4:30 AM, filkollinz wrote:

    demodave, you are of course 100% correct:

    Apple is first and foremost a software company. Anyone who has used a mac since the earliest days of the company knows this. I'm a designer and it has always been clear to those of us who work in the design community (and had our working lives transformed by the arrival of the Mac back in the 80's), that we and the folks at Apple share the same DNA. This design-lead, ease-of-use approach to the software is what everything else they do rests on. In order to control that ease-of-use experience and satisfy their own desire to build great products, they built the hardware too resulting in the iMac, MacBook Air etc. Latterly of course they've done exactly the same thing with iOS and the iPhone and iPad.

    This has always been a fundamental difference between Apple and the PC world. Microsoft licensed Windows to anyone (admittedly making Bill Gates a gazillionaire and Microsoft the richest company on the planet), but the company had little to no control over the end-user experience. With Apple products we get to enjoy the benefits of flawless integration between their software and hardware.

    Apple are innovators and where they go the pack follows. Admirably, they've managed to maintain this position for years in an incredibly competitive marketplace and in the face of very strong economic headwinds. I believe it would be foolish indeed to bet against this company over the medium to long term.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2011, at 11:59 AM, ikkyu2 wrote:

    Really? You're asking long-term AAPL shareholders what we think about a one-day market movement?

    I think that computers and high frequency traders are trying out some kind of short-term trading scheme to trade around an event, and I really don't care what the outcome of that process is. Steve didn't do anything unexpected, so I guess the folks who thought he was going to were disappointed.

    I would like to know about AAPL's plans for NUAN's voice technology. But it looks like we'll have to wait for that.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2011, at 3:24 PM, muddlinthrough wrote:

    @ Infothat(doesn't)help(s)

    "...or the names of Barack Obama's daughters..." I can't name them either, and I don't see why it matters.

    I have a couple of degrees, so I'm not exactly uneducated or undereducated.

    @ITSpecialist

    "...average IQ of a Canadian is about 20 points higher than Americans. Get used to this fact."

    If it's a 'fact,' then you have data to back it up. & since the Canadian pool is smaller, they have more room for a higher number because the pool of stupidity-towards-the-mean is smaller.

    So, what's your point? (refrains from pointing out that hockey fans aren't exactly known for being brainiacs, because firstly, I'm one, and secondly, most Canadians are usually better educated because if you're too stupid that far above the frostline, you die, so, there's bound to be some natural selection in the equation at work).

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2011, at 3:35 PM, muddlinthrough wrote:

    @Genesisfan(filkollinz),

    "With Apple products we get to enjoy the benefits of flawless integration between their software and hardware. "

    Uhm...yah. So, they repackage data that you already own for a convenience factor, and charge an incredible markup on parts & services. At some point, they either control your brain because you can't read a map (or don't own one, and they charge you for it), or, people work a way around it.

    I know that stupidity and stupid-simple aren't always mutually inclusive, but for the 'Get a MAC, it's so simple and convenient,' as a non-Koolaid drinker, I just don't get the advantage of paying monies for things I already have tools for or can get for free.

    I can give you two reasons to bet against it: the US government usually comes calling when you have a total monopoly, and if Barack Obama wins a re-election, he'll pull a Bill Clinton and sue APPL 'cause that's where the money is.' Also, since B'Ob was elected through the largesse of Google micro-payments to the tune of 65% of a billion dollars of war-chest, they'll be calling that marker in the 'info-wars.'

    Secondly, APPL is 'where it is' precisely because Steverino is, and has always been, a control-freak. As such, name a single empire that survived a single-leader of monomonical vision when that leader died? Alexander inheriting from his father might be one model, but Jobs is more in the mold of Alexandar, and he just proposed his Alexandria to the Cupertino city council. Warren Buffet's demise is oft-discussed on this site in other locales, but with the same question-marks.

    Those are two reasons; if it hits $500/share, feel free to drop me a 'hahahahahaha'.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2011, at 8:55 PM, baldheadeddork wrote:

    In late, but it's maybe better on this story.

    I think all of the Apple supporters in the comments have chided Tim for writing about a one day drop in AAPL's share price. Now it's a week-long drop. Apple shares are down 6% from their open last Monday. Shares only gained on one day (Wednesday) and that was a mere 16 cent rise that went away on the Thursday open.

    Yes, it was a down week for the market as a whole, but Apple suffered significantly worse than most. Microsoft was off less than 1% for the week. The three big indexes and Dell, HP, and Intel were off between 1.5 and 3.2%. The only challenger for Apple among large tech stocks was Cisco, which also finished down 6% for the week.

    Anyone still want to dismiss it as a one day reaction?

    I think blaming the market reaction on Apple not having a new piece of hardware to launch is missing the forest for the trees. Apple let everyone know months in advance that the next update for the iPhone would happen in October. Anyone caught by surprise on Monday wasn't paying attention, and I hope there aren't enough of those people to cause a 6% drop in Apple's share price.

    But in the announcements leading up to WWDC-11, Apple also said they had "revolutionary" software updates in store. I think the market expected something really revolutionary and didn't get it. The new iOS features bring it up to what WP7 and Android have offered for most of the last year. OS-X Lion copies the iOS user experience for Mac owners. It may be better than Snow Leopard but revolutionary it ain't. And iCloud is the failed MobileMe service with some modest changes and a new marketing campaign.

    What did I want to see from Apple? A commitment to 4G-LTE in the iPhone that will launch this fall and a real overhaul of iOS. The UI is old and very clunky when you're dealing with a lot of apps. Palm and Microsoft are way ahead of iOS for managing apps and data, and Android is catching up fast. Apple, by contrast, is making the iOS UI the UI for all Apple products.

    Apple has done a great job of spinning iCloud, and to their embarrassment most of the analysts and reporters have only been too happy to play along.

    My favorite line this week has been that iCloud will lock people into the Apple universe. That's wrong. iCloud will work on Windows Vista and 7 computers, too. (Though given Apple's history of making Windows software, it probably won't work very well.) And this reasoning ignores that Apple has been claiming this for decades, going back to when Jobs campaigned to get Mac's in every school classroom back in the 80's. It hasn't worked yet, and it's not going to change with iCloud.

    One last thing: There seems to be some amazement that Apple would give away 5GB of online storage. Don't believe their hype. As they presented it, iCloud wants to copy every document, song, picture and video on all of your devices to the iCloud. The overwhelming majority of users will blow past with their files on one device. How much does it cost when you get over 5GB? That's the question which will decide if this is revolutionary, or another flop to be rebranded next year or swept under the rug.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2011, at 11:48 PM, kingzippy wrote:

    investors were looking for a service that would compete with netflix. customers like flat fee, but content producers want nothing to do with it. but Apple is sticking to a pay as you download. time will tell which model customers want. But long term, if Apple can tie customers into cloud service, it provides significant barriers for competing devices. time will tell who will win the cloud competition.

  • Report this Comment On June 12, 2011, at 8:04 AM, piinob wrote:

    Apple stock dropped because Mutuals that track the indexes are changing the balance of their portfolio. It did not go up on a feeding frenzy because "the cloud" is pretty old news, and a few software enhancements don't really amount to much at this time. Apples limited market penetration with their computers means that the new OS has very limited income production potential at this time. Until Apple gains much larger market share in the computing field it will be that way. I don't understand why Jobs doesn't make the effort at this. If macs are so great it would seem that competeing head to head on price would allow thenm to dominate the home user market anyway. Ease of use would also be a big selling point to businesses.

    That said I am not to excited yet about "the cloud" because of security concerns. Until someone comes up with real security from hackers I will keep my data mostly offline.

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