Not missing, however is CEO Steve Jobs, who -- medical leave and all -- will host Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, which starts at 1 p.m. ET today
On tap are new Mac and iPhone operating systems, refreshed MacBook Airs and the introduction of iCloud. But the annual star of the WWDC show -- the new iPhone -- will be conspicuously absent.
Here are the top items Apple won't be mentioning today.iTV Though its efforts have been far shy of successful, Apple is unwilling to let go of TV. The Apple TV 3, introduced last year, continues to have a small loyal following, but it's not the breakthough device that Apple is aiming for. The iTV is that device. An all-in-one HD TV running on an Apple operating system playing Apple iTunes programs is the Holy Grail here. But that will likely be a development announced some other day. Ping Every tech shop is allowed its awkward stumbles in social networking. Google's (GOOG) Buzz seemed solid, but turned into a huge invasion of privacy and a government-relations fiasco. News Corp (NWS) bought MySpace, but had no idea what to do with it. Six years later, News Corp is now trying to sell what's left of it. Even Cisco (CSCO) tried to get into the social media game with Flipshare, an effort to link its now-dead Flip video camera business to Facebook. So Ping, Apple's attempt to bring music lovers together in iTunes, can certainly be seen as part of the valiant social effort. Ping sounded like a reasonable idea when Apple introduced it in September, but participation -- the glue that holds social networks together -- didn't really bond. Ping isn't dead, but Apple will have other music developments like iCloud to talk about today. Acquisitions The opportunities abound. Skype went to Microsoft (MSFT) for $8.5 billion. Distressed Nokia (NOK) has to be worth billions to Apple in wireless patents alone. Twitter could be a smart grab before it files for an IPO. Maybe Apple will dip into some of its $30 billion in cash, and maybe it won't. Apple has been making smaller and fewer acquisitions in recent years. The last big purchase was more than a year ago when Apple bought mobile ad shop Quattro Wireless for $275 million. Apple seems to be content looking internally for new developments.
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