The time has come for another of Apple’s (AAPL) developers’ conference. Starting at 10 a.m. PST, on June 7, CEO Tim Cook will take the stage and kick off the company’s virtual WWDC.
As usual, the Apple Maven will cover the keynote address in real time. On our channel, the emphasis will be on dissecting the news of the day as it pertains to Apple stock and its investors. Below is a summary of what to expect – otherwise, scroll straight down to the "Live Coverage Starts Here!" section.
What to expect of WWDC 2021
Being a developers’ conference, WWDC’s most important news tends to revolve around operating system updates. For instance, iOS 15 for the iPhone should be launched with a few modifications: new privacy settings, in addition to iMessage and notification updates.
Other software upgrades should also be introduced. Because macOS Catalina and Big Sur were unveiled in October 2019 and June 2020, respectively, a brand-new version would not be out of question. The operating systems for the iPad and Watch may also see an update.
For investors, what will probably matter most are announcements regarding new products or services. Last year, Apple announced its ARM-based chip technology and architecture, setting the stage for new products that were launched later in the year and in 2021.
This time, consensus suggests that a new lineup of MacBook Pro could see the light of day. A silicon upgrade, from the M1 to the M2, would also be a pleasant surprise. Any of these developments would speak to Apple’s need to push harder in 2021 in order to beat tough 2020 comps in Mac and iPad.
Much more speculatively, it would be interesting to hear news on Apple’s longer-term growth opportunities: namely mixed reality wearables and the Apple Car. Both topics, however, are highly unlikely to be discussed during WWDC 2021.
Should you buy AAPL ahead of WWDC?
The Apple Maven asked the question last week: should WWDC impact Apple’s share price? History suggests that Apple stock has gained some uplift following its past five developers’ conferences, even if not in all cases. However, it is unclear if bullishness has merely been a coincidence.
I asked Twitter a similar question and received the answers below. It looks like social media is much more optimistic about WWDC having a positive impact on AAPL shares.
Live coverage starts here!
11:58 a.m. PST: This is a wrap for us, hope that you have enjoyed our WWDC coverage! Have a great day!
11:57 a.m. PST: Do you have other takeaways to share? Follow the Apple Maven on Twitter and send us a note!
11:54 a.m. PST: Lastly, Apple 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.
11:52 a.m. PST: Second, Apple hammered home the ecosystem message once again. 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).
11:49 a.m. PST: First, WWDC was lighter than most expected on new product, service or chip announcements. This seems clear from AAPL's price action: from $125.40 at the start of the keynote to $124.97 at the end, despite the S&P 500 holding steady.
11:48 a.m. PST: As far as takeaways, I would highlight the following:
11:47 a.m. PST: Apple stock dug below $125 as soon as it became clear that event would end without any further updates on hardware or services.
11:45 a.m. PST: And it's a wrap! CEO Tim Cook should be ending the event any moment now.
11:44 a.m. PST: On the stock, Apple now dips to the lowest levels since the start of the WWDC keynote event, at $125.01.
11:42 a.m. PST: As you know, Apple has been on a mission to defend its App Store from antitrust attacks.
11:40 a.m. PST: Interesting tidbits of information about the App Store: 600 million weekly visitors, $230 billion paid to developers since inception.
11:36 a.m. PST: I will be shocked if Apple pivots from API, Object Capture and programming language to something bigger, like the introduction of a new chip or laptop (but I could also be wrong). We might be close to a wrap up.
11:34 a.m. PST: MacOS conversation is over. Developer updates being discussed now.
11:33 a.m. PST: Quiet, if not slightly bearish, day for Apple stock, despite the WWDC event. See chart below.
11:28 a.m. PST: Updates on Safari. Craig Federighi touts the 17 hours of browsing enabled by the M1 architecture.
11:24 a.m. PST: Ok, allow me to do a bit of tea-leaf reading. During WWDC 2020, the MacOS conversation started 1:08 hrs. into the keynote speech. That allowed for a 20-minute conversation about Apple silicon at the end. This year, we are already 1:24 hrs. into the presentation at the start of the MacOS debate. So, this could be the last topic of the day.
11:21 a.m. PST: MacOS Monterey introduced. Naming convention follows the California coast theme (think Big Sur, the previous operating system version).
11:20 a.m. PST: Time for MacOS. Could this be the pivot to news about the M2 chip and/or the MacBook Pro?
11:18 a.m. PST: HomePod mini "pitched" as a home entertainment piece of hardware to be used with the TV.
11:16 a.m. PST: Apple pivots to smart home applications, using multiple devices like the iPhone, Apple TV and HomePod.
11:15 a.m. PST: Stock has been dormant at around $125.10... the market might be awaiting potential news on products and services.
11:10 a.m. PST: Front and center is health and fitness. Fitness+, one of Apple's newest services, is mentioned.
11:08 a.m. PST: Speaking of health and smartwatch, WatchOS 8 is next.
11:06 a.m. PST: Health Sharing is a good example. By connecting the family around this important topic (health), Apple becomes an even more important household name that can boost the value of the company's ecosystem.
11:04 a.m. PST: Updates to Health can be accretive to demand for wearable devices, particularly the Watch, and maybe even services. This is a more important topic of conversation for investors.
11:02 a.m. PST: The keynote lasted over 1 hour and 30 minutes in 2020, and the updates to Apple silicon did not come until the very end. So let's see how it goes this year.
10:59 a.m. PST: Topic is now Health.
10:57 a.m. PST: iCloud+ improves the security features. No change to the subscription price.
10:55 a.m. PST: Apple stock is cruising now, just north of $125. Once again, investors don't seem to be impacted much by today's WWDC news.
10:53 a.m. PST: Topic is now Siri, still within privacy. On-device audio processing is an interesting way for Apple to differentiate against its more dominant peers in voice and speech, including Amazon (Alexa).
10:52 a.m. PST: App Privacy Report app introduced.
10:51 a.m. PST: Apple's stance on privacy has been very clear. This has led to some conflict between the Cupertino company and its Big Tech peers, particularly Facebook.
10:49 a.m. PST: Craig pivots to privacy: "personal data under your control".
10:47 a.m. PST: Updates to Translate within iPadOS look interesting. Again, great from a usage point of view, virtually irrelevant for the investment thesis.
10:44 a.m. PST: Let's not forget that WWDC is really about software updates, first and foremost. Generally speaking, don't expect the event to be a game changer, like earnings day or a new iPhone launch might be.
10:42 a.m. PST: In my opinion, today's updates have been very interesting from a user, and possibly developer, perspective. Nothing so far has been highly relevant for investors.
10:41 a.m. PST: Widgets, App Library and Multitasking. Once again, Apple is focusing on usage experience: de-cluttering, app integration, etc.
10:39 a.m. PST: iPadOS 15 is next.
10:38 a.m. PST: Apple stock continues to decline, and is about to breach $125. This could be a reflection of modest bearishness due to lack of meaningful products or services news.
10:36 a.m. PST: AirPods takes center stage, within the context of software updates. From a financial perspective, this generally successful wearable device has been a laggard in the past quarter or two.
10:34 a.m. PST: Craig is wrapping up iOS 15.
10:33 a.m. PST: Other than a small bump in share price in the first few minutes of today's event, Apple stock continues to decline modestly. It is now priced at $125.15, down from $125.40 at the start of WWDC.
10:29 a.m. PST: Digital ID in Apple Wallet, to be used by the TSA at airports. Very interesting.
10:27 a.m. PST: Topic is now Apple Wallet (still iOS). This is a slightly more relevant topic for investors, as improvements in payments platforms could be a plus for services demand and revenue.
10:26 a.m. PST: Apple stock continues to trend lower today, although not by much: $125.25 per share.
10:24 a.m. PST: About one-third of the keynote address is now behind us. The topic of conversation continues to be the iOS. Expect other operating system updates, but I am increasingly confident that we might not hear about new products today.
10:20 a.m. PST: Focus setting in iOS syncs with other Apple devices. Once again, it's all about the ecosystem and encouraging cross-platform usage.
10:18 a.m. PST: Topic is now Focus, including Notification Summary. Apple seems to be pushing for better user experience, not just "more usage". It tangentially reminds me of the Apple vs. Facebook battle for user control of data, a hot topic of conversation as of late.
10:14 a.m. PST: Still within iOS, topic is now Messages. Interesting to see how Apple stock began to rise in the first five minutes of the event, then turned around about 7-8 minutes ago. Movement is minimal, however: -20 bps.
10:12 a.m. PST: Watch Together via FaceTime... another neat feature. It's all about innovation leading to more usage and engagement. This is how the software updates matter to investors.
10:08 a.m. PST: Neat new features for FaceTime, including Voice Isolation and FaceTime Links. This is very consistent and aligned with the new work- and study-at-home dynamics introduced by the pandemic.
10:07 a.m. PST: iOS 15 being discussed. Nothing out of ordinary so far. The first topic is FaceTime.
10:06 a.m. PST: CEO Tim Cook has the stage, and hands it over to Craig to talk about iOS.
10:01 a.m. PST: It's on! Intro video is playing. Tim Cook should get started soon.
10:00 a.m. PST: The event is about to start any second! (As Apple shares trade off their lows for the day).
9:57 a.m. PST: Keep an eye on stock price action to get a sense of what developments might nudge investor sentiment during the keynote address.
9:56 a.m. PST: Today should really be all about software, and the refresh of the operating systems. What could be most impactful to the investment thesis would be news on the potential M2 chip and/or product launches, particularly the MacBook Pro.
9:55 a.m. PST: With 5 minutes to go for the start of the event, here's a very brief recap about what matters to investors:
9:53 a.m. PST: Those interested in watching Tim Cook's keynote speech can visit Apple's website and follow along. For coverage catered to AAPL investors, stay with the Apple Maven!
9:50 a.m. PST: This is not to say, however, that hardware updates will be left out of this year's WWDC. For example, it would not be a surprise to see Apple unveil its M2 chip today.
9:48 a.m. PST: Also, Apple's online store continues to operate normally. The company usually halts sales ahead of product launches. Maybe we will not see a new MacBook Pro today after all. We'll find out soon...
9:46 a.m. PST: Not much at all has changed in the market since earlier this morning. Apple stock remains lower by -0.5%, slightly lagging the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
9:44 a.m. PST: Welcome to uninterrupted coverage of Apple's WWDC 2021! Are you ready for it? CEO Tim Cook is ready:
7:45 a.m. PST: The Apple Maven takes a pause. We will be back before the start of the keynote address, in two hours. See you all then!
7:36 a.m. PST: Also, here's something interesting. Apple's online store is up and running normally. Usually, when the company introduces new products, it tends to take its store offline in anticipation for the changes. So far, nothing (see below).
7:30 a.m. PST: Hello, everyone! Quick check to see how Apple stock has been doing on this Monday, WWDC day during its first hour of trading... down -0.5%, which is worse than the performance of the S&P 500 at -0.2% and the Nasdaq at -0.1%.
3:00 a.m. PST: Welcome, everyone! Below is how Apple stock finished the trading session on Friday. Could momentum carry forward into this Monday?