While analysts give him high marks for returning money to shareholders -- the shares are up about 40% in the last year, they carry a 2% yield, and they will debut at about $90 after they split over the next week -- he has mainly solidified the company's lead in phones and tablets.
Under Cook, Apple has yet to stake out a new product category beachhead.
There are plenty of rumors.
They start with iBeacon, a low-power wireless technology akin to Bluetooth that can push lots of data to devices at low power, allowing for in-store messaging, payments and advertising. GE (GE) has already integrated this sort of technology into its LED lighting systems and said it will function with iOS devices.
Apple is also expected to enter the Internet of Things with HealthBook, a health app, and home automation apps for controlling lights, heat and security systems.
Updates are widely anticipated to both iOS, which powers Apple's devices, and OS X, which powers the Apple Macintosh computer. OS X 10.10 is expected to look like iOS 8, and will ship under the name "Yosemite." iOS expected to get some OS X features, such as notifications that alert you to appointments when the calendar isn't open. OS X is not expected to get multitasking, a feature of Microsoft MSFT Windows. If it does, that's a win.
Siri, the company's speech technology, may get a software development kit so it can be integrated into other applications. Expect integration to be a major theme, with Cook emphasizing how developers can tie apps together with its full range of products.
This is what traders or gamblers would call the "over-under line" for today's announcements. If Tim Cook launches all this software and all these services, he will have performed according to expectations. If less is announced, he will have performed below expectations, and the stock could take a hit.
But what if he announces more? What if he announces new hardware? No new iPads, iPhones or iMacs are expected at this week's event. Anything like that would be an upside surprise.
Or Cook could go in another direction, and launch a new Apple product category today.
For instance, he might actually announce the iWatch , and demonstrate it working with those iBeacon, Healthbook and home automation applications, in conjunction with or absent an iPhone. That would open a new product category.
He could announce an actual Apple TV, maybe with a retina screen seen on recent iPads, one that could control the home and its occupants and transmit programs to other devices through iBeacon. That would also be a new product category.
Last week's announced acquisition of Beats Music makes it likely that integration of music streaming with other Apple technologies will be part of Monday's announcement.
Might home speakers akin to the Sonos Soundbar be coming, again with iBeacon integration to follow the user around the home? Apple could announce a new, higher-quality music encoding scheme that eventually makes users buy their home music libraries all over again.
What's most likely is that Cook will see this week's effort as a software conference and tease new hardware for an announcement later this summer. The intent of a WorldWide Developer Conference, after all, is to give outside developers capabilities they can work into their own products, not just tease Apple's own.
Just watch the action on the stock if Cook finishes his talk, turns away from the audience, then turns back and says "And one more thing..."
At the time of publication the author owned shares of AAPL and GE.
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This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.