Apple Stock: 3 Key Takeaways From WWDC 2021

Apple's WWDC 2021 kicked off on Monday, June 7. However, AAPL stock had muted, if not slightly bearish, reaction to the news of the day. Here are three key takeaways.
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On June 7, Apple kicked off WWDC 2021 with a nearly two-hour long keynote presentation. The Apple Maven summarizes below the three key takeaways from the event that Apple stock investors should keep in mind.

Figure 1: Tim Cook on Apple's WWDC 2021.

Figure 1: Tim Cook on Apple's WWDC 2021.

#1. Below-market expectations

The rumor mill had been turning fast prior to the event. In addition to the widely anticipated software updates, some on Wall Street believed that new hardware could be introduced. If so, WWDC21 would probably have an impact on Apple stock right out of the gate. 

However, WWDC21 was lighter than most expected on new product, service or chip announcements. Instead, the operating systems (i.e. iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8 and macOS Monterey) were the only highlights of the event.

Some market frustration was evident from AAPL's price action. The stock moved from $125.40 apiece at the start of the keynote address to $124.97 at its end, despite the S&P 500 holding steady. See chart below.

Figure 2: Apple stock price action on June 7

Figure 2: Apple stock price action on June 7

#2. It's about the ecosystem

But investors should not be too disappointed. Apple hammered home the ecosystem message once again. New iOS 15 features allow Apple devices to better sync with each other, encouraging cross-platform usage and increasing the value of the company's "complete product package".

By improving software and adding cross-platform features, the company continues to boost its brand as a key household name. This is a positive for the investment thesis, in my view, although mostly for the long term (i.e. not a short-term catalyst).

#3. Privacy is key

Apple's stance on privacy has been very clear. The company used WWDC as another platform to defend its policies on security and privacy (e.g. against Facebook) and app ecosystem (against Epic Games and regulators). The Cupertino company has certainly needed to play some defense this year.

Apple's updates on privacy included tracker blocking in Mail app and Safari browser; hidden location and IP address; App Tracker Report where users can check periodically apps using personal info; and Siri's offline speech recognition, allowing for more privacy.

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(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. The author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting The Apple Maven)