Apple's WWDC: 5 Items Not on Tap

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's ( AAPL) annual summer product showcase has a few holes in its lineup this year.

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.
Apple

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.

iPhone

No iPhone 4S, no iPhone 5. The past three years, the WWDC confab was known as the iPhone show as Apple rolled out the newest version of its crazy-popular new phone. Not this time.

The next iPhone launch has been delayed to the fall. The explanation from analysts is that a later introduction wouldn't interfere with the February arrival of the Verizon ( VZ) iPhone, but it would still arrive in time for the crucial holiday buying period.

The next iPhone is expected to be a minor upgrade on the current model, featuring a dual-core processor and compatibility on U.S. and European 3G networks that would make it a so-called world phone.

4G LTE iPhone

And so it only follows that the huge, super-speedy 4G LTE iPhone won't make a showing today.

As first reported here in February, Apple is working on a 4G LTE iPhone for introduction in 2012. The delay puts Apple's iPhone toward the back of the pack of new Google Android phones that boast bigger screens, better cameras, faster processors and speedier 4G connections and arriving this year.

One problem with having a sumptuous super iPhone in the pipeline for next year is that it threatens to keep people from buying the model due out this year.

Either way, you won't hear Apple talking very much about today about the iPhones ahead. Instead, it's "to the Cloud!" as Microsoft would say.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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To contact this writer, click here: Scott Moritz, or email: scott.moritz@thestreet.com.

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